The purpose of this paper is to investigate the proximity of study centres to the students of College of Distance Education, University of Cape Coast (CoDE/UCC) and whether further studies of distance learners who were teachers and employees could lead to absenteeism in their workplaces.
A sequential explanatory strategy was used. A self-administered questionnaire and unstructured interviews as well as observation guides were employed to collect data from 2,077 students pursuing business and education programmes of CoDE in all study centres across Ghana. Data were analysed with descriptive statistics and pattern matching of content analysis.
The study found that few teachers and other workers pursuing the distance education do absent themselves from the workplace or classroom on Fridays preceding their face-to-face session because they embarked on their journey to the study centres on Friday morning. Some teachers also absented themselves from work on Mondays after face-to-face sessions for a lack of means of transport on Sunday after lessons. The absenteeism of these respondents directly and indirectly affected their employers, students and customers.
It was therefore recommended that management of CoDE/UCC should open more study centres in all the regions especially Western, Ashanti, Upper East, Northern and Upper West Regions to reduce number of hours spent by students to their study centres and consider introducing the business programmes at the existing district centres to reduce average distance covered by these students to commute from their places of work to their respective centres in the regional capitals. It was also recommended that online/electronic learning and audio versions (impersonal communication) of the study modules should be introduced so that students would not necessary have to travel to the study centre to participate in lectures/face-to-face sessions.
The findings of this study will help managers and administrators of both public and private distance educational providers. In addition to providing basis and areas for establishing study centres for geographical proximity, findings of the study should prove helpful for designing and delivering electronic and audio versions of distance education modules to reduce the level of absenteeism in workplace for the students.
Segbenya, M., Oduro, G.K.T., Peniana, F. and Ghansah, K. (2019), "Proximity and choice of College of Distance Education (CoDE) of the University of Cape Coast for further studies", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 33 No. 5, pp. 1012-1034. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEM-12-2017-0379
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