BRIEF HISTORY OF AKATSI COLLEGE OF EDUCATIONFounded in October,1963, Akatsi Training College opened its doors to the first batch of forty-two (42) all-male students. Apart from the first Principal, the late Mr. Seth K. Ahiable, there were three other tutors constituting the teaching staff. The three men who helped to lay the academic foundations of the College with the Principal were Messrs Cletus A. Akorlie (as Senior House Master), Michael Adodo Gaba and Leo M. Adotey. According to the records, by October 28, 1963, the initial intake of 42 had risen to 56 students.
The idea of establishing a Teacher Training College at Akatsi was the brainchild of the then member of Parliament for Avenor (as the constituency was then known), Hon. M.K. Maglo and the then District Commissioner (DC), Mr. John G. Bedzo. Torgbui Letsa Korba II, Dufia of Akatsi willingly provided the tract of land which currently stands the structures of the college.
Akatsico has seen very humble beginnings when she was housed in the deserted wooden and corrugated roofing sheet structures of Taylor Woodrow Construction Company that built the Accra-Aflao road (also known as John Miller road, named after the firm’s Chief Engineer then). A number of these structures still stand today albeit in very sorry states of dilapidation. The first Principal’s office too has survived the many years of termite attacks and defiantly stand as a museum piece monument beside the resource centre.
Driven by the echoes and reverberations of the national needs for education, the founding fathers chose the motto for the college to be HEAD, HEART, HAND. The selection of this motto is significantly in consonance with the College’s mission of giving its trainees a holistic education that builds the individual intellectually, physically and in the affection domain.
Akatsi Training College became a co-educational institution in 1967, four years after its inception and the first batch of female students, numbering twenty-four were enrolled.
Akatsi College of Education was first established as Akatsi Training College on 1 October 1963. It was however officially opened on 25 October 1963 with 42 all male students and teaching staff of 4 including the principal.
The government of Ghana at the time had decided to open more teacher training colleges in order to train more teachers to augment the teacher population of the country. Some of these new colleges opened in the Volta Region at the time were at Dzodze, Ho, Anloga, Shia, Dabala and Akatsi.
Akatsi Training College was to be established in the deserted corrugated ted iron sheets structures of Taylor Woodrow Construction Firm. Taylor Woodrow Construction Firm was the construction firm that constructed the Akatsi – Denu section of the Accra – Aflao road. They left behind a road camp with uncompleted buildings.
Mr. Seth Kwabla Ahiable was appointed the first principal of the college. Other tutors were Mr. Cletus Avugla Akorli, senior housemaster; Mr.Michael Adodo Gaba; Mr. Leo Marues Adotey, and Mr. E.N Pomary. An effort by Mr. Ahiable to bring Mr. Rockman Damalie, who was then teaching at Kpando Secondary School could not work until the following year. However, he was with principal on the first day of opening and helped him with the initial effort to get the students settled. One Mrs. De Souza was employed as a cook and she cooked the first meal for the first batch of students who arrived on the first day.
The initial intake of students numbered 42 were admitted from Accra, most of them were staff of the workers Brigade who opted to be trained as teachers. Hence, many of them were from outside the Volta Region. By 28 October, the students’ population had risen to 56. The college became coeducational in the 1967/68 academic year when 24 female students were admitted. The college has remained coeducational till date.
Two prominent people who fought for the establishment of the college were Mr. M.K Maglo, the then Member of Parliament for Avenor and Mr. John G. Bedzo, also the then District Commissioner for Avenor. Torgbui Letsa Korba released a parcel of land for the establishment of the college. The initial challenges the college faced were the non-availability of water and electricity. Students had to trek to dams outside the town to bring unwholesome water to the college for use. Staff therefore decided to harvest rain water. Taylor Woodrow had left strong concrete platforms which strengthened the base of water tanks constructed. The college also relied on water tankers for water.
Akatsi College of Education has run various programmes at various stages of her growth. It started with the Certificate “A” (4-year) Post Middle Programme. The first batch of students completed in 1967. This programme remained until 1974, when the first 2-year Agriculture Specialist Course was rolled out to run simultaneously with the 4-year certificate “A” course. The Specialist Programme was discontinued in 1975 to give way to the 3-year Post Secondary Programme, The first batch of students was admitted in October 1975. In December 1974, Mr. J.B Yegbe who had been acting principal left the college for another assignment. Mr. Nathaniel T. Nortey took over the administration of the college. Mr. N.T Nortey in his time fought for a lot of infrastructural development for the college. During his tenure of office, he was able to facilitate four staff bungalows, the round hall and the commencement of the Letsa Korba Hall.
The 4-year Programme was suspended in 1978 when the last batch of its students passed out. In October 1981, the 4-year course was re-introduced as Modular Programme consisting of 2 years of sandwich vacation courses and 2 years of regular college tuition for an “A”- 4 year certificate. Eventually, all programmes except the 3-year Post Secondary Programme were terminated. The college is one out of ten which offers Technical and Science courses to train teachers especially for Junior High Schools in the country. In 2006, the Post Secondary Programme was phased out. The college started the 3-year Diploma in Basic Education.
The college participated in the DFID-funded T-TEL programme.
Beginning September 2018/2019 academic year, all Colleges of Education in the country will be upgraded to a University Status to run a 4-year Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) Degree Programme.
These Colleges, which will initially be affiliated to the University of Cape Coast and, subsequently, to other public universities, will ensure that a first degree was made the minimum requirement for teaching at any level of the country’s education system.
Under the current dispensation, teachers who completed the three-year Diploma in Basic Education (DBE) at the Colleges of Education, have to do a two-year top-up, through distance learning, at the University of Cape Coast to attain their first degree
This means that, in addition to the extra amount of money spent on getting a degree, it took trainee teachers not less than five years to get a degree.
With the introduction of the 4-year Bachelor of Education Degree, teachers will now obtain a first degree at the end of their training, to ensure that they enter the teaching service as university graduates with an increment in their salaries.
The President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who made these known in a keynote address at the 170th anniversary celebration of the Presbyterian College of Education, Akropong, in the Eastern Region on Saturday, indicated that the reforms formed part of Government’s vision to transform the country’s education delivery system to meet the needs of a 21st century economy and to produce a skilled and confident workforce to drive the nation’s agenda for industrialization and modernization.
President Akufo-Addo noted that the success of all modern nations that had experienced extraordinary results in the formation of human capital and economic development, such as Singapore, Finland, Korea and Canada, had demonstrated that teacher-quality was the single most important determinant of their success.
He said for Ghana to be successful as a nation, it needed to prioritize the training of quality and motivated teachers, as it would only take a crop of well-trained and motivated teachers to deliver the educated and skilled workforce needed to transform the country’s economy.
To that effect, he said, Government had taken a number of measures including an 11 percent increase in teachers’ basic salaries and the clearing of all accrued arrears owed teachers between 2013 and 2016, with respect to travel allowances, transfer grants and overtime allowances, instituted an insurance package for teachers with SIC Life, which has been agreed on with the teacher unions and reinstituted teacher trainee allowances.
President Akufo-Addo said Government would restore the teaching profession to the status it once enjoyed and make it an attractive career choice.
With a focus on improving and strengthening the quality of technical and vocational education and training, he said Government had begun the supply of equipment to boost the capacity of the Colleges of Education that specialized in technical and vocational teacher training.
He mentioned Mampong Technical College of Education which, some four days ago, had benefitted from the equipment supply, having received two thousand, five hundred and eighty-six (2,586) pieces of assorted Science, ICT, Technical and Vocational equipment.
President Akufo-Addo gave the assurance that all other Technical Colleges of Education, including the Presbyterian College of Education, would, in the course of the year, receive their due share.