The two- day conference which was the first national conference and workshop on Academic Writing/Communication Skills Programme in Ghanaian Higher Education brought together instructors of communicative skills and other scholars from various tertiary institutions in the country.
The conference on the theme: “Doing more than getting by re-thinking Academic Writing / Communication Skills Programme in Ghanaian Higher Education,” was organised by the Department of Communication Studies of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in collaboration with Messiah College of US and Crossroad Collaborative Ghana.
The objectives of the conference was to assemble programme coordinators, instructors and interested scholars to assess the current practice of academic writing instruction in Ghana and to make recommendations for improving these programmes.
The conference was also meant to identify research issues and options for advancing the field of academic writing instruction as well as consider the formation of a National Association of Academic Writing Teachers.
Dr Philip Gborsong, Head of the Department of Communication Studies of the UCC, said teaching Academic Writing /Communication Skills has become an integral part of Ghana’s higher education in the past three decades.
“In some institutions students get frustrated and consider the course as a GPA destroyer. It is high time we take a hard look at these programmes in the light of contemporary research, consider what works, what doesn’t, and how to revitalise the programmes so that they could meet the needs of students”, he said.
He said his outfit in collaboration with the Messiah College and the Crossroads Collaborative- Ghana, decided to organise the conference to help address the problem.
Professor Dora F Edu-Buandor, Dean of Faculty of Arts of the UCC, said there is the need for a paradigm shift from teaching purely grammar in the programmes to teaching Communicative Skills to cover other disciplines.
She called on the management of tertiary institutions to ensure that experts are employed to teach Communicative Skills/Academic Writing instead of relying solely on English teachers.