The Presbyterian College of Education at Akropong in the Akuapem North Municipality of Eastern Region, has held its 13th Congregation for 2018/2019 and 2020 graduates who have successfully undertaken a 3-year Diploma in Basic Education programme under the Institute of Education, University of Cape Coast.
The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rt. Rev Prof. Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante who was the special guest of honour in his address congratulated the College for the high number of students who had First Class Honours. He said this was a great achievement since it was the highest among all the Colleges of Education across the country. He therefore urged both the faculty and the students not to rest on their laurels.
The Moderator said he was not surprised that the College had chalked such academic success because it is the oldest educational institution in the Country hence the accolade “Mother of All Schools”.
The Moderator paid growing tribute to the founding fathers of the College and the establishment of the College was very important for the Church since all the founding blocks of Presbyterianism in Ghana were done in the school which included Language Development, Translation of the Bible into Akan Langauge, composition and translation of Music.
He challenged the College to take Quality Assurance seriously and make excellence their hallmark.
Commenting on the theme, Rt. Rev Mante said inclusive education does not mean everything is acceptable and therefore charged the college to hold the values of the founding Church in high esteem and not comprised in any way the moral standard of the College. He challenged the graduates to live excellent life style and concentrate on the essentials of life and be worthy ambassadors of the College.
Rev. Dr. Nicholas Apreh Siaw, Principal of the College congratulated the graduates for the feat chalked. He also used the opportunity to thank members of the out-gone governing council, former leaders and staff of the College for their selfless service.
He said this year’s graduation ceremony comprises two groups belonging to the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 batches.
The principal commenting on students’ performance, said the 2019/2020 cohort of students performed better compared to the 2018/2019 cohort. He said out of 484 students, 32, constituting 6.61% had 1st Class compared to the 2018/2019 cohort that had 13 out of 467, representing (2.4%).
He said, student enrolment currently stands at 1646. The number comprises 680 level 100 students, 496 level 200 students and 470 level 300 students. He mentioned that in the last admission season, the college received 1214 applications; however, it could admit only half of the number due to inadequate accommodation.
Rev Dr Apreh Siaw enumerate some challenges that have continuously dogged the College. He said one major among these challenges was the encroachment of the College’s 100-acre land. He said the level of encroachment on the college lands poses a tremendous threat to the growth of the College.
The principal therefore, entreated all stakeholders and all who believe in the advancement of the College to work in concert to reclaim the encroached lands and support a relentless effort to fence the College to prevent further encroachment.
He also mentioned the dilapidated laboratories, library and resource entre of the college as other challenges confronting them.
There is also the urgent need for the construction of accommodation facilities for both staff and students to accommodate the increasing number of students in the College.
He said the, the founders of the College introduced inclusive education in the country at a time very little was known about the concept. Currently, the college is the only college in Ghana that admits visually and deaf and hard of hearing students. He said teaching students with special needs comes with a significant cost.
The College needs a well-equipped centre for visually-impaired students. The different types of disability require specific learning devices; for instance, legally blind students need CCTV magnification systems while totally blind students require braille printers. Brail translation software must be procured to convert documents into brail files that can be sent to students’ reading devices or brail displays. Deaf and hard of hearing students also require different assistive devices depending on the degree of impairment. There are assistive listening devices (ALDs) and augmentative and alternative communication devices (AACs). These can only be procured at a considerable cost.
Rev Dr Apreh Siaw also mentioned that the new administration block had been handed over to Management and the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) approved Management’s request to furnish the offices with part of its GETFUND allocation.
He commended government of Ghana for rehabilitating the roads in the college. He said the contractor is currently working on the drains and culverts, after which the roads will be asphalted.
He noted that through the agency of the Member of Parliament for the area, Hon. Nana Ama Dokua Asiama Adjei, the government is renovating the college’s football field as part of government’s plan to rehabilitate stadia in the country. “The project commenced last year but is currently stalled. The contractor has reassured Management that work will resume shortly” he emphasized.
The principal also expressed his profound gratitude to the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rt. Rev Prof. Mante for his keen interest in the advancement of the College. He said Management had secured the college site plan at no cost to the College, through the instrumentality of the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana. The process of registration of the property is still in progress.
Awards were presented to deserving students which included students who received First Class Honours, the overall best graduating student and also best graduating science student, Ms. Ernestina Dede Onipayede, Ms. Linda Sedjo Obiri (2020) year group, Benjamin Eliken Kpodunu, a visually impaired student receiving an award for best graduating student with Special Needs and others.
The Moderator earlier cut-sod for the construction of a five-story lecture hall for the College. The structure is composed of lecture halls, offices, library, and ICT laboratory. When completed, the facility will resolve the classroom space challenges that have continuously bedeviled the College.
The new administration block of the college was also dedicated for use by the Moderator.
Present at the ceremony were the Chairperson of the Governing Council of the College, Dr. Esther Ofei Aboagye, the Akuapem Presbytery Chairperson, Rev. I. D. Asare, Ga Presbytery Chairperson and Council Member of the College, Rev. Dr. A. N. O. Kwakye and Rev. Dr. Seth Kissi, Akyem Abuakwa Chairperson, Member of Parliament for Akuapem North Constituency, Nana Ama Dokua Asiama Adjei, the Municipal Chief Executive for Akuapem North Mr. Barima Asiedu Larbi, the General Manmager of the Presbyterian Schools Mrs. Rosamond Amoako Appenteng and some community leaders of Akropong.
Rev George Ezekiel Larbi
Public Relations Officer
Presbyterian Church of Ghana