Winneba — The former Principal of the Kumasi Campus of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), Associate Professor Emmanuel James Flolu, has called on stakeholders to rededicate themselves to building a beacon of teacher education and training university with pride and reputation unmatched across the globe.
"We all owe Ghana a moral duty and legal obligation to support UEW in delivering on its mandate," Prof. Flolu said in a public lecture at Winneba last Wednesday, October 16, as part of activities marking the 25th anniversary celebration of the university.
Against the background of the turbulence that nearly brought the university down to its knees, Prof. Flolu, who is the Chairman of the Governing Council of the Ho Technical University, said "we must resolve collectively and commit solemnly to the task of reconciling the perceived camps, the task of forging unity, and rekindling the zeal and enthusiasm and the friendship with which UEW was founded."
"We are at a crossroad, our legacy is about to be destroyed, our toils and labour are about to be in vain. This silver jubilee anniversary should be treated as a defining moment for UEW, we have been through such difficult moment," he said.
"We have been in the news, TV and radio stations, print and social media (even at lorry parks and market places) all for the most unpleasant reasons, our university has passed through every level of the judiciary system. Our academic and professional achievements are drowned and we cannot comprehend what is going on," Prof. Flolu said in an emotional lecture laced with humour, attracting applause from the audience.
Touching on theme of his lecture "Teacher education in Ghana: Reflection on the mandate of UEW," Prof. Flolu stressed on the need to develop strategic plan to establish new campuses of the UEW across the country and ensure they have equal status and semi-autonomous.
He noted that with the government policy of getting every child into Senior High School (SHS), there certainly would be demand for quality teachers adding "at the moment our campuses cover only two third of the 16 regions. Yet by law our presence and impact must be felt across the country."
He described teacher education approach in Ghana as a "single-track-approach" and made a case for a diversified and unique curriculum which will lead to more effective approach to teacher training.
"We cannot produce high quality teachers without high quality educators and education programme. Both teacher education, curriculum and models need to be re-assessed to ensure that these are brought in tune with the state-of-art practices. These are the surest guarantee for quality teaching and learning."
Prof. Flolu called for investment in research for the university to undertake scientific investigations into various areas of education and make results available to the education ministry for informed policy decision.
Touching on the duration of SHS education, Prof. Flolu expressed the need to give critical attention to the "intermingling issues" of the Dzobo Committee Report, Anamuah-Mensah Report together with global trend.
"Ultimately the goal is to make sure we have made the right investment in the education of the young generation to ensure they are competitive in the global job environment," he added.
"The investment we should have made in education, we failed to do at the right time, and we are now spending to address youth unemployment rather at a greater cost," Prof. Flolu said.