Reducing Distance Learners’ Attrition Rate at the University of Cape Coast: Tutors’/Students’ Perception
The goal of Distance Education in Ghana is to make quality education, especially at the tertiary level, more accessible and relevant to meeting the human resource needs of the country. This is to improve performance as well as the quality of lives of Ghanaians. This dream can only be realised if students enrolled on the programmes graduate on schedule. Students’ enrollment on the Distance Education Programme at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) currently is over 24,000. However, not every student enrolls on the programme graduates on schedule for various reasons. This paper examines tutors’ and students’ perception on the attrition rate of distance learners. Survey research method was used to gather data and analysis done using frequency count, simple percentages, mean and standard deviation. Factors identified as causes of attrition and measures to reduce the problem were significant as perceived by tutors and learners. However, this paper concludes that the complexity of causes of attrition and measures to reduce it allow for few practical or readily applied solution. Most of the significant causes were evolutionary issues that can be resolved as time goes on through improvement in technology, effective course designing, better understanding of learner characteristics and appropriate learner support systems. Some recommendations were made as interim measures to help reduce the high attrition among UCC distance learners.
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