Old Student of Komenda College of Education becomes First Vice-Chancellor of University of Environment & Sustainable Development, Somanya

Prof. Eric Nyarko – Sampson, an old student of Komenda College of Education has been appointed and sworn into office as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development, Somanya. By his appointment, he is going to serve as the first Vice-Chancellor of the newly established University located at Somanya in the Eastern Region of Ghana.

Prof. Nyarko – Sampson, a Professor of Guidance and Counselling, had his initial teacher training education at Komenda College of Education from 1989 – 1991. He is the Founding Dean, Faculty of Educational Foundations, College of Education Studies, University of Cape Coast, having served in various capacities such as Senior Administrative Assistant, Head of Department and Vice Dean, in the university. He holds a Bachelor of Education (Psychology), Master of Philosophy (Guidance & Counselling), and Master of Arts (Human Resource Management), from the University of Cape Coast. He also has a Final Professional Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Administrators & Management Consultants, Ghana, and Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Guidance and Counselling, from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria.

He has thought in various capacities and facilitated a number of national and international workshops in counseling, human resource management and organizational behaviour and change. His research interests include career counseling, school counseling, teacher education, issues in multiculturalism, and entrepreneurial education. He is a member of various teams researching issues in teacher education. He has supervised and turned out a host of postgraduate students at the MPhil and Ph.D. levels.

As Chairman of Ghana’s National Teaching Council, Prof. Eric Nyarko – Sampson led the agency under the Ministry of Education in major reforms nationwide in the teaching profession to uphold the standards of teaching. This was through the provision of a quality assurance process to support the delivery of education in pre-tertiary institutions in a professional and competent manner by licensing teachers who graduate from a recognized teacher training programme.

He is a licensed and certified counselor, and a member of the Accreditation and CPD Committee of the Ghana Psychology Council. As a Board member of the National Council for Tertiary Education (NTCE), he serves on the Academic and Technical Committees. Prof. Nyarko – Sampson has chaired and served as a member of various committees on improving the tertiary education landscape in the country. He also represents the University of Cape Coast on the university’s affiliate institutions; university colleges and Colleges of Education. A Local Preacher of the Methodist Church, Ghana.

Journey to becoming Vice-Chancellor

In an exclusive interaction with the News Desk of the Colleges of Education Weekly Journal, Prof. Nyarko – Sampson shared with us the journey to becoming the first Vice-Chancellor of UESD. He stated that “let me first thank the Almighty God, the Author and Finisher of my faith, the Lifter of my head, and from whom all great things come. I also thank President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and the Hon. Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh (MP), for the confidence reposed in me. I think my journey within the university has seen me working through the ranks from Senior Administrative Assistant in the University of Cape Coast on 1st October 1999, to Professor of Guidance and Counselling on 1st August 2018. I have contributed along the way to issues within the teacher education and tertiary education space, and I think by recommending me to the President for appointment the Hon. Minister of Education realized my potentials and capacity, and knows I can do the work”.

Prof’s Days at Komenda College of Education

Recounting his old school days at Komenda, Prof. stated that “Komenda College teaches you to persevere in the midst of possible setbacks, know yourself, and move forward. During our time in College, we weeded, scrubbed the bathhouse and gutters, fetched water from the well to the dining hall sometimes, and kind of work, but yet had to find time to study extensively in order to pass our examinations. The moral lessons and the individual life planning skills we had to develop really changed anyone who was in College at that time, and desired to change. Our tutors and administrators at the time really gave themselves out and assisted us well. They always looked at us in the future, they had a true interest in our development, and offered to assist us in that direction. They were good people. I miss most of them, if not all of them”.

“The good friends I made back at College, most of whom are still my good friends, the families we formed, and church service on Sunday evenings. I also miss those sporting days; hockey, volleyball, football, and athletics. We also used to climb coconut trees at the beach to pluck coconut” he added.

Reacting to when his Alma Mata should look forward to receiving him and his year group on campus, Prof. Nyarko – Sampson indicated that the entire old students’ association was supposed to be at the college at the end of March this year for our usual homecoming celebration but had to suspend it due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Homecoming is a big occasion for us, and for the College. There is a lot of fun, meeting old and new faces, and inspiring our students. We also donate to the College sometimes. I go to the campus as and when my assistance or expertise is required. So is any member of my year group. We would also be available when called upon to do so, or it fits part of our year group activities.

Intended Legacy for UESD

Finally, when the News Desk asked Prof. on what legacy he will like to be remembered for as the first Vice-Chancellor of the University, he stated that “starting a university as this time may be seen as a herculean task, but with the right persons beside you I am sure we can achieve the aims and objectives of the university. And this I have found in the team and crop of persons I am privileged to work with. My council is a mix of persons with university and industry experience, whilst my management members have requisite university working experience so whatever I do would be that which we all aim at; building a strong institution to turn out graduates full of HOPE (Honesty, Opportunities, Perseverance, Enterprising) in themselves, and who bring hope to a world of despair. Even though this current stage may be different, I hope to draw experience from my being first or among the first in a couple of things. From the fact of being a first-born son to the recent times of having to set-up and start a Department and a Faculty in the University of Cape Coast as first Head of Department and first Dean respectively”.

Source: News Desk, Colleges of Education Weekly Journal

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