Source:savannanews24.com/ Issifu M. Mashood:
The Gambaga College of Education (GaCoE), in the East Mamprusi District of the Northern Region, has held a matriculation ceremony to welcome 187 students admitted into the college to pursue three-year Diploma programmes in Basic Education for the 2017/2018 academic year.
In 2009, the Nayiri Naa Bohugu Mahami Abdulai II the over lord of Mamprugu made a request for the establishment of a college of education in Mamprugu when he led a delegation of chiefs from Mamprugu Traditional area for a courtesy call to his Excellency the late J.E. Atta Mills, the former President of the republic of Ghana. Subsequently the traditional council met in Nalerigu the capital of Mamprugu and it was agreed that the school be established in Gambaga.
In 2010, the people of Mamprugu in their own wisdom through the East Mamprusi District Assembly spearheaded by the then District Chief Executive Hon. Adam Imoro decided to put up basic infrastructure to kick start the idea as a Community College of Education and subsequently solicit the government’s intervention for its absorption in the main stream.
The coordinator for Colleges of Education at NCTE Jerry Sarfo the chairman of the ceremony in his statement reiterated the constitutional provision which allows for the dissolving of boards as stated in the presidential transition act 2012, act 845.
He stated that government through the ministry of education with assistance from the council of tertiary education was taken steps to constitute the new council of all tertiary institutions including all public colleges of education now numbering 46. He added that NCTE has been therefore mandated to take charge of all issues pertaining to tertiary education in the country that otherwise would have been address by the various councils.
He welcomed all matriculants to the school and encouraged them to hold their heads high with the aim of coming out as victors.
According to the Coordinator of NCTE the Gambaga College of Education is one of eight public colleges of education that has recently been absorbed by government as public institution. He therefore advice the college to abide by the colleges of education act 2012, act 847 and all harmonised documents developed by the national council for tertiary education in collaboration with other stakeholders.
He further stated that staff will need to meet certain level in other to be qualified as tutors of the college and therefore advice staffs lacking behind in terms of requirements to up their game to continue the good work they have started.
Students of the college were now qualified to access loan from the SSNIT loan trust and will also enjoy other benefits such as getting recognised postings from the GES.
He encouraged the graduation students not to relent on furthering their education since it wasn’t the end if the journey but a beginning of a new life.
He admonished the continuing students to let the graduation of their seniors serve as a motivation factor for them to work hard.
The college has a total student enrollment of 768 with a teaching staff of 25, including 3 females, and 36 members of the non-teaching staff.
This year’s enrollment figure stands at 187 students, which according to the A.G Principal of the College, Mr. Alhassan Sandow Nantomah, is as a result of the college inability to absorb students with the qualification to study in the school due to lack of infrastructure.
He revealed that over 1,000 candidates applied for admissions.
The Principal also informed the gathering that the UCC distance program in Gambaga came as a result of the idea behind the establishment of the college. According to the principal, admission to the college began as early in 2012 with 310 students gaining admissions. Whiles the founding fathers where preparing the grounds for accreditation and absorption. He revealed that on the 1st of March, 2013, accreditation was issued to the college and in the same year August, the university of cape coast made the college its affiliate and two years after that, the government absorbed the college on the 20th March, 2015. with an enrollment figure of 768 students made up 446 males and 322 females.
The principal made a passionate appeal to government to assist the school with well equipped lecture halls, student hostels, resource centers for effective teaching and learning among other things since the college were preparing to introduce early childhood program.
As part of improving and creating a suitable environment for students and the general public. The college has sign an MoU with Ropart Systems for the building of a reliable website to enable students check their results online and do their online registration.
He outlined some infrastructural developments embarked by the college through its internally generated funds and GetFund through NCTE which include the construction of a six unit classroom block, office, stores and library which is 80% completed, construction of a six unit male and female hostels which are completed and in use, construction of a dinning hall, construction of a five sitter KVP which is at a stand still same as the dinning hall.
These projects he stated are at various levels of completions and abandoned due to the inability for first certificates which were presented by NCTE in October, 2016 without a single pesewas advanced to the contractors.
The Principal further stated that out of seven(7) GetFund projects awarded at the new site for construction only two of the constructors are currently on site with the remaining five(5) nowhere to be found. He therefore called on government to make all the necessary resources available to the contractors to enable them avail themselves at site to prepare the grounds for the relocation of the school since the current campus faced serious issues regarding infrastructure.
The principal further stated that the trainees are currently been faired in an uncompleted dinning hall which wasn’t conducive for students especially during the raining season and the harmattan period. He went on to state that out of a total student population of about 187, the school has four toilet facilities, two(2) for males and females respectively. This according to the principal isn’t enough and forcing students to engage in open defecation which is a serious cause for worry considering the presidents call to tackling sanitation.
He thanked the founding fathers of the Gambaga College of Education for the bold decision they took amidst all the challenges as at the time to make this day possible. Among the names mention was the Regional Director of Education in the Northern Region Alhaji Mohammed Haroon also known as Cambodia, Hon. Adam Imoro former DCE for East Mamprusi, the Nayiri among others.
He advised the first years to take their studies seriously in the quest to obtain a Diploma in Basic Education (BDE) Certificate, as the continuous assessment plays an important role in their academic progression.
He urged students to use the course outline as a guide to study on their own.
On the achievements, the Principal noted that, the college through its IGF is putting up a conference hall for the governing council and uplifting the face of the administration block, constructed a 3 unit hostels which have completed and are in use, provided sporting facilities such as two table tennis equipments and two hand ball courts, drilled and mechanised 3 boreholes and procured 150 ceremonial guns. He believes the projects will enhance the status of the college as tertiary institution.
The Principal mentioned that the school has vast land for future expansion projects, and therefore called on civil society groups and other benevolent organizations to come to the aid of the school.
Mr. Alhassan Nantomah urged the matriculants to use appropriate channels in addressing their grievances, and encouraged them to relate very well with each other.