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Wesley College celebrates 90th anniversary

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

Mr Eshun-Fameyeh, however, appealed to the Ministry of Education to increase the quota of teacher trainees as a matter of  urgency, “to ensure teacher security in our basic schools.”

He pointed out that  instead of the previous 450 teacher trainees  admitted into the college to pursue various programmes at the Diploma in Basic Education level,  they  had been compelled to enrol only 300 students over the past three years.

The anniversary celebration which was on the theme: “A disciplined teacher, a disciplined nation — the Wesley College factor,”  coincided with the unveiling of a magnificent  statue of Rev. John Wesley, who was the founder of the Methodist Church in Ghana.

The college, which was named after  Rev. John Wesley, was established by the Methodist Church  first in Aburi in the Eastern Region  in 1922, before it was transferred to its present campus in Kumasi in March, 1924.

Among products who have graduated from Wesley College over the years are Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia,  the first Prime Minister of the Second Republic of Ghana, Dr F.L. Bartels, the first African Headmaster of Mfantsiman School, Mr S.H. Amissah, first Ghanaian Principal of Wesley College, Dr I.K. Chinebuah, former Headmaster of Achimota School, Mr J. Y. A. Kwofie, former Inspector General of Police, Rt Rev. Dr. Yaw Frimpong Manso, former Moderator, Presbyterian Church of Ghana and  Bishop Daniel Yinkah  Sarfo, Anglican Bishop of Kumasi.

Mr Eshun-Fameyeh  commended the chiefs and people of Tafo for donating the large parcel of  land on which the college was established, saying, “this kind benevolence has  to  be told always so that even those yet to be born will know about it”

He also commended the Methodist Church for the invaluable contributions it had made towards the development of Wesley College and pointed out that the support of the church over the years made it possible for the college to produce students who had made various contributions towards the development of the country.

The principal noted that as part of their commitment of  nurturing the potentials of students, the college has established a modern computer laboratory equipped  with 80 computers.

This, he noted, was  not only meant to keep students abreast with Information Communication Technology (ICT)  but also  to enhance high performance on the field  after  they graduated.

He also announced that the college had renovated the science block to enhance meaningful academic work among science students.

Mr Eshun-Fameyeh,  however,  appealed for financial support for the construction of an assembly hall, with a capacity to accommodate 2,000 students, explaining that the present one constructed  about 62 years ago,  cannot accommodate the over 600 students in the college.

He also appealed for financial support for the construction of bungalows for tutors, saying, lack of accommodation for tutors compel them to stay outside campus, making it impossible for them to supervise the activities of students more meaningfully.

The Dean of the Faculty of Art of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Dr Kwasi Opoku Amankwah, who was the guest speaker, said the 90th anniversary celebration of Wesley College had come at a time that education has taken a centre stage of campaigning in the 2012 general election.

Speaking on the topic: “The Teacher and the future of education in Ghana”,  Dr Opoku Amankwah, who was a former student of Wesley College, called for a change in the current educational system, which he said “ turns out more illiterates than literates”.

He pointed out that with the discovery of oil, coupled with other natural resources spread across the country, it  was important  for stakeholders to initiate policies and programmes  that would adequately nurture the human resource in a meaningful manner.

He noted that beyond its social and economic utilities, education betters people’s lives by increasing their scope, fulfill their potentials and accelerate cultural growth and enlightenment.

“Education is needed for survival, learning and citizenship, personal pleasure and creativity, as well as for employment, community development and political empowerment” he stressed.

He said in spite of the numerous opportunities that education offered, “poverty prevents many young people from availing themselves to the benefits of education.”

“As a country hoping to catch up with the fast moving world of change, the greatest challenge is to ensure that we offer equal, accessible and affordable quality education to our children who are our future leaders” he noted.

He said since the success of any educational endeavour hinges on the teacher, it was important  to offer the requisite motivation to teachers  to entice them to become more committed to  their core responsibilities.

“We need well trained, well motivated and disciplined teachers who are abreast and in tune with new changes in the educational system” he stressed.

The Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, Ghana, Most  Rev. Professor Emmanuel Kwaku Asante, who chaired the programme, assured of the church’s continued commitment to support Wesley College in diverse ways.

He  pointed out that the contributions of past students towards sustainable socio-economic development of Ghana gave ample testimony that the Methodist Church took a wise decision in establishing the college.

He said the quality of their products over the years  had inspired the leadership of the church to consider turning the college into a university of education in future.