Prof George Kwaku Toku Oduro — He went through the hard way

BY: Shirley Asiedu-Addo
Prof George Kwaku Toku Oduro
Prof George Kwaku Toku Oduro

Professor George Kwaku Toku Oduro, Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), worked his way up the hard way to get to the top of the academic ladder.

He says he is happy that he was able to survive the vagaries which life presented him while growing up and is glad he survived it.
Today, he sits up the ladder and believes that all things are possible with faith in God and hard work.

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Love for Navy

With love for the navy-blue uniform, Prof. Oduro wanted to become a Navy Officer although his father wanted him to be a teacher. At that time, he said he had not seen any teacher who was doing well.

“I had not seen any teacher owning even a bicycle,” he stated.


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Due to financial difficulties he missed the opportunity of going to secondary school although he passed the Common Entrance Examination at Middle School Form Two.

After Middle School education, he chose to be a house boy rather than go to the teacher training college which was available then.

After working for some time, his employer suggested to him to go to the training college in order to secure his future, which he reluctantly agreed to.

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He enrolled at the Enchi Teacher Training College, and on the advice of the principal of the college he wrote the GCE “O” Level as a private candidate.

Prof. Oduro in a group photograph with is family after his inaugural lecture at the University of Cape Coast

He had credit pass in all the subjects at the GCE “O” level and that motivated him to again register and wrote the GCE “A” Level. On this occasion, Prof. did not perform well. He had all “E”s but that did not deter him. He wrote again and this time passed well with aggregate 14.

Road to the top

Young and determined Oduro applied and gained admission to the Advanced Teacher Training College, now the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), for a Diploma in Education programme.

He stepped up his work, concentrated on his studies and graduated with a Second Class Upper.

With the latest success chalked up, young Oduro realised that all things were workable and achievable in life with hard work commitment and determination.

“The fact that some people who came to the college with secondary education were re-sitting was enough motivation for me,” he added.

With a little zest for higher education, Prof. Oduro applied and gained admission into the University of Cape Coast for a Bachelor of Education (BEd) Foundation and graduated with First Class.

On completion, he was retained as a teaching assistant at Department of Educational Foundation.

He went on to have his Master of Philosophy degree at the Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (IEPA), also at UCC, but had a scholarship to the Cambridge University in the United kingdom and he was appointed lecturer in 1998.

But within that same period, Prof. Oduro got a scholarship and had to go back to do his doctorate at Cambridge.

Between 2008 and 2012 he came back to the IEPA of UCC and rose through the ranks from a lecturer to become director of the institute.

In 2012, he was transferred to the then Centre for Continuing Education and later appointed the Director of the Centre.

In 2014, he became the premier Acting Provost of College of Distance Education when the University of Cape Coast went collegiate.

In 2016, Prof. Oduro became the Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast.

Irony

He said the teaching profession made him inquisitive and challenged him to go up the educational ladder, therefore, he would choose teaching, a profession he once hated with passion over and over again.

His satisfaction is when people walk to him and tell him the impact he has made on their lives.

Prof. Oduro advised young people not to despair in times of trouble but have faith in God to turn things around.

He said it was worrying that young ones were busily chasing money rather than preparing the grounds for money to chase them.

He is grateful for the advice of his father whose words of inspiration still motivate him and underscores the fact that God is in control and has a plan for all who believe in him.

Growing up

Prof. is a native of Agona Asafo in the Central Region and was born to the late Ex-Sergeant Kwesi Oduro and Madam Akosua Otenewa, a petty trader. He spent part of his early years in the Volta Region and as a result he can speak and write impeccable Ewe.

He once stayed at Aflao, Akatsi and in all these communities that young Oduro grew, he supported his family in selling doughnuts and pomade.

Family and Leisure

Prof. Oduro is married to Dr Mrs Georgina Oduro, a Senior Lecturer at the Sociology and Anthropology Department of the UCC. They have four children: Kofi Quakyi, Paa Kwesi, Maame Ekua Otenewa Oduro and Yaa Esumamb????? Oduro.

He enjoys singing and is a member of the Bethel Presbyterian Church at Ola in Cape Coast and loves to play badminton during his leisure time.