According to the last coronavirus update of John Hopkins University on Saturday 25th April 2020 at 11:51 pm, United Kingdom is rated as the 5th country world wide which has been hardly hit by this novel COVID-19. Its first case was reported in 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 in the University of West of England (UWE) located in Coldharbourlane Bristol of 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 genteelly. “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 in a week. This is what I use to support my education, pay my hostel bills and eat from.
Amidst the coronavirus pandemic
My school was suspended, companies were closed down, anyother public activity was strictly restricted and above all, the whole country was shutdown. 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 this 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 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 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.
Support of the University to foreign students
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.
E-learning and its challenges
Immediately after the suspension of schools, we started the E-learning which I have done several assignments and submitted 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. Other, for seeing you online will start calling you through WhatsApp and other mediums,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.
COVID-19 claimed a life of Ghanaian
No Ghanaian student from my institution has lost his or her life and that a good news. We are all safe and strong like “twerɛ krɔnkrɔn”.
The Consulate-General of Ghana in the UK
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.
Advice to colleagues in Ghana
I heard that my country Ghana has recorded about 1550 cases. I know why I am here and I am not ready to watch it go down the drain by any reckless life. I keenly follow the precautionary measures meted out by the World Health Organisation and the UK government. I will advise my colleagues in Ghana to do same and do not take it for granted.
Would you like to return to Ghana after the pandemic?
Lol! I will prefer not to talk about it. ”
Emmanuel Bartels Ankrah (Hon. Bartels)
A student of University of Cape