Prof. William Koomson, Principal of SDA College of Education located at Asokore–Koforidua in the Eastern Region of Ghana is leading a transformational agenda to give a new image and a facelift to the College. Prof. William Koomson has been in office for close to two years now.
Until he was appointed Principal in November 2018, Prof. William Koomson was the Acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the Valley View University located at Oyibi in the Greater Accra Region. He doubles as a Pastor of the Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) Church.
The Chiefs and elders of Asokore – Koforidua in the New Juabeng North district of Eastern Region accompanied by the landlords of the College paid a visit to the College on Wednesday, 2nd September 2020 to thank the Principal and his Management for the great work they are doing to give the College a facelift.
SDA College of Education was established in 1962 by the Seventh-Day Adventist Missionaries to train teachers for basic schools. The institution was later adopted by the government as one of the government-assisted Training Colleges in Ghana. The College has an area of 35.9 hectares (about 88.75 acres). The College has a vision to become a college of academic excellence and a leading teacher education institution with a worldwide coverage acclaim. The current student population stands at about 1,286 with 476 Level 100 student teachers, 397 Level 200 student teachers, and 413 Level 300 student teachers who sat for their final examinations in July 2020.
INTERNALLY GENERATED FUNDED PROJECTS
The College has used its Internally Generated Fund (IGF) to undertake the following projects; a manufacturing plant for sachet water, a modern bakery that supplies bread and pastries for sale to students and the surrounding communities, the College sports stadium is undergoing rehabilitation to meet national sports standards, the two women residential halls have seen rehabilitation and expansion to enable the College to take more students especially, more female students. The College has also seen some landscaping to beautify the institution. The bakery and the water sachet production are expected to further generate more IGF for the development of the College aside from what the government will provide.
Due to impressive developmental projects that the Chiefs and elders of Asokore – Koforidua witnessed on their visit to the College, they conferred on the Principal a Chieftaincy title by name: Nana Oseadeayor. The title literally means “the doer of all”. The College Chapel has also been renovated. GETFUND is also building two major projects on the campus; a modern administration block and a 16–unit staff flat.
When the News Desk of the Colleges of Education Weekly Journal contacted Prof. Koomson on how he has been able to man such impressive projects in just two years, he responded “we had to stop the leakages like the unnecessary use of money. When you come to the campus, you will see the Principal driving his own small car. I personally use my own car for almost all my personal and preaching errands. We are trying to block all unnecessary spending and refocus to use the monies into more important projects”.
He further added that “the total number of students we have now is less than it was about five years ago. This is because the admission numbers dropped. What I am trying to say is that factoring in inflation, the amount of money we get from students which is termed as internally generated fund is lesser than it was a few years back. This is the same money we need to use to develop the school as well”.
Speaking on challenges he is facing in the discharge of his duties, Prof. Koomson stated that “my biggest challenge was when I started work some twenty months ago, people did not understand my dream. They thought I was doing things that I should not be doing, changing things that do not need to be changed, etc. I had my own internal opposition but by God’s grace, that stopped when people understood my vision. Another challenge we face is that some students find it difficult to pay their fees which is a hindrance to us so much”.
Prof. Koomson stated that he wants to see the College become one of the best, as it was, some years back. I want to see the College in a condition where infrastructure and academic work are up to date such that, SDA College of Education will be a College of choice. For example, last years’ admitted students were all invited to the College for interaction and Campus tour before admissions letters were offered to them. The College conducted a Welcome Week and Celebration in October 2019, for the newly admitted students and all continuing students; this is first of its kind. I am also proud to indicate that, at SDA College of Education, we operate a Cafeteria system, where all students sit on modern plastic tables and chairs to enjoy their meals with free water. No more long-benches.
He concluded by saying that “we are currently doing a lot to raise income to help us achieve these goals.”
Credit: Wisdom Blackson Agbanyo, PRO – SDA College of Education, Koforidua