One thousand and three hundred pupils and students from basic and tertiary institutions in the New Juaben municipality who excelled academically this year are to be honoured at this year’s Akwantukese Festival of the chiefs and people of the New Juaben Traditional Area.
The Daasebre Silver Jubilee awards for excellence will be presented to pupils and students from the 250 primary, junior high schools (JHSs) and senior high schools (SHSs), as well as the two universities, the All Nations University College (ANUC) and the Koforidua Technical University, at the festival on October 28.
Besides, special awards will be given to the three engineering students from ANUC who pioneered the launch of Ghana’s first satellite into space on July 7 this year.
The Omanhene of the New Juaben Traditional Area, Daasebre Prof. Oti Boateng, who disclosed this at the launch of this year’s Akwantukese Festival in Koforidua last Sunday, said the initiative was aimed at inspiring pupils and students to study hard to become responsible future leaders.
This year’s Akwantukese Festival will mark the 25th anniversary of the enstoolment of the Omanhene of New Juaben and the 20th anniversary of the institution of the Akwantukese Festival.
The Akwantukese Festival is celebrated to commemorate the great migration of the Juabens and their allies from their ancestral homes in Asante to establish the New Juaben settlement in the Eastern Region, specifically in Koforidua some 135 years ago.
Cradle of education
The Omanhene of New Juaben said as part of efforts to make the area a cradle of holistic education in Ghana, he had initiated what he described as “planting of a perpetual seed of holistic education” which would be a major focus of this year’s Akwantukese festival.
“Our aim is to transform education on a new wave of innovation that delivers better value to our children. Consequently, the planting of the perpetual seed of holistic education is our avowed ambition to leave an education legacy for the people,” he stated.
He pointed out that to “incentivise all pupils and students to the learning process”, quiz competitions would be organised at all levels of education from primary through JHS and SHS to the university, with the best performing pupils and students awarded with various trophies and other honours.
The Omanhene said to achieve the vision of the initiative in the area and inspire other traditional areas in the country, he had set up a nine-member Akwantukese Education Board which would be inaugurated at the grand durbar of the festival.
The board, he added, would help to promote education in New Juaben which currently had a school enrolment rate of over 65,000 pupils and students, with 28,000 being females.
According to Daasebre Prof. Boateng, this year’s Akwantukese Festival marked a defining moment to share the pride of leadership, unity and development as the three pillars of generation of stewardship.
“Our greatest inspiration now lies in the fact that the New Juaben Traditional Area has earned an enviable historic foothold in Ghanaian chieftaincy with the institution of the first post-independence festival that has attracted national and global recognition, boosting the tourism industry in Ghana and providing a rallying point to showcase and share the history and identity of the people of New Juaben,” he said.
He stated that his leadership had been well documented in a publication dubbed, “Development in Unity: Compendium of Works of Daasebre Prof. (Emeritus) Oti Boateng” which, he said, was now being sold on the Amazon, an online bookstore.
That, he said, represented a historic landmark that had put New Juaben on the global map.
“The essence of inter-generational leadership legacy lies more in the seed of inspiration planted to activate the desire of generations to be competitive in all endeavours in meeting their urgent needs.
The product of this seed of global inspiration planted in the New Juaben leadership landscape to instil the spirit of competitiveness as our common identity inspired the pioneering of Ghana’s historic first satellite launch, the GhanaSat-1, into space to place Ghana on the global space engineering pedestal,” he stated.