A Ghanaian Student In The UK Shares His Struggles Amidst Coronavirus Shutdown

UK University
UK University

The following report was filed by Emmanuel Bartels Ankrah

According to the last coronavirus update of John Hopkins University on Saturday 25th April 2020 at 11:51 pm, United Kingdom was rated as the 5th country worldwide which has been hardly hit by this novel COVID-19.

Its first case was reported 85days ago on 1/30/2020 and has now recorded 149,569 cases, and 20,381 death.

Emmanuel Kwame Busia is a Ghanaian student who studies at the University of West of England (UWE) located in Coldharbourlane Bristol of the United Kingdom (UK), a modern and dynamic university which welcomes students from 140 countries with over 30,000 students, shares his harrowing story amidst this Coronavirus pandemic.

“Things have not been easy for us here” he said. After securing my diploma certificate in Ghana, I strived to come here to further my education. As I speak with you now, I am currently reading a Business Administration programme. I was not funded by any scholarship firm or any individual. It was out of the effort of my parents and my hard work after school that brought me here. My source of livelihood here has been wholly dependent on my student’s working permit. Considering my schedule as a student, I am only able to work for 40 hours a week. This is what I use to support my education, pay my hostel bills and eat from.

My school was suspended, companies were closed down, any other public activity was strictly restricted and above all, the whole country was shut down. This condition has put me through hell up here. Currently, I do not have any money on me, things are very expensive here and my parents in Ghana have their menial jobs in an unfavorable shape at these bad times and do not have enough to send me their widow’s mite. Life for me here at the moment has been a hard-luck story.

The total of Ghanaian students here are about 50 in number. Yes, we have a Ghanaian students’ Association which has liaised with the Ghana Embassy here and doing their best to support students but I have not joined as an active member since I use the less time I get to go out there and work. I can not speak for the Association because I am not privy to the benefits its members are enjoying at this point in time.

The University has done its best by absorbing our hostel bills which include: the apartment, light bills, water bills and the Internet service bills. I applaud them for such a kind gesture.

Immediately after the suspension of schools, we started E-learning. I have now done several assignments and submitted them already. The challenges are that: there are lots of distractions at the hostel and the interference of the social media, as you are busily following an online lecture, you will as well be receiving social media notifications popping up.

These come from family and friends. Others, for seeing you online will start calling you through WhatsApp and other mediums and refusing to answer is also another problem. These hinder the smooth learning. Moreover, you do not understand as compared to the face-to-face classroom teaching and learning.

No Ghanaian student from my institution has lost his or her life and that is good news. We are all safe and strong.

Inasmuch as we came here on our own to study, any glory we acquire will be a great credit to our nation Ghana. I will suggest that they look for some of us and support us especially in hard times like this where we are not working.

Source: Emmanuel Bartels Ankrah

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