The history of Gambaga College of Education dates back to 2009, when the Nayiri Naa Bohugu Mahami Abdulai II, the Overlord of Mamprugu Kingdom, made a request for the establishment of a College of Education in Mamprugu when he led a delegation of Chiefs from the Mamprugu Traditional Area to pay a courtesy call on H. E. John Evans Atta Mills, the then president of the Republic of Ghana.
In 2012, the people of Mamprugu in their own wisdom through the East Mamprusi District Assembly used an existing Junior High School infrastructure to start a community College of Education with the hope of soliciting government’s intervention for its absorption into the mainstream. This dream was realized in 2015 when the College was finally absorbed by Government. The College, since then has remained in the Junior High School building with few extensions.
The College was initially affiliated to the University of Cape Coast but was later assigned to the University for Development Studies in 2019 as a result of the current reforms in Colleges of Education.
The entire student population is about 704, with about 280 students on campus and about 180 also on the field having their teaching practice. The remaining are the ones being housed in the private hostels.
Speaking exclusively to the News Desk of the Colleges of Education Weekly Journal, Mr. Nantomah Korah Kassim, Principal of the College indicated that the College was a Junior High School before being converted to a College. We had plans of moving to a new site and contracts were awarded in 2016 for five different projects. These projects included a two – storey administration block, construction of a hostel block, a modern lecture block and a multi-purpose assembly hall. The projects halted when there was a change in political administration in 2017. The contractors have since not been on site. Only two of the projects were twelve and sixteen percent complete in 2017. The rest had not commenced at all.
The Principal further indicated that with regards to student accommodation, it is a huge problem. Student dormitories are classroom blocks. We have a 3-unit classroom block which is accommodating ninety students, that is where the male trainees are housed. The female trainees are also occupying a 4-unit classroom block accommodating 120 trainees. We also have a 2-unit classroom annex also accommodating 60 students. In all, we are housing about 190 trainees in six classrooms. The College rented two private hostels using our Internally Generated Funds (IGF) to help accommodate the remaining male trainees. These group of students have to travel 2km daily to campus to attend lectures and dinning.
The College has a 12-unit classroom block which was inherited from the Junior High School. It is used for lectures and all other indoor academic related activities. There is a large room on this block which serves as a library. With regards to the various offices, we do not have space for all the portfolios.
Those who render essential services such as Supported Teaching in School (STS) Coordinator, Assessment Officer, Dean of Students Affairs and Guidance & Counseling Officer have been given some small spaces to enable them operate. The classroom corridors have been closed to make room for such offices.
The places of convenience such as toilets and bathrooms are also nothing to write home about. This is because we have classrooms and not hostels, therefore, we have to build these facilities outside the rooms. The Finance department, the Administration block and other departments are also located in classroom blocks, with some extensions made to accommodate other offices.
Responding to how the above challenges are affecting the College, Mr. Nantomah Kassim, Principal of the College stated that “it is affecting us greatly. For instance, students at one private hostel walks for about two kilometers to get to school, after which they walk back when lectures are over and do same in the evening for supper. The issues of insecurity at the private hostels is a worrying concern. Because the places are not fenced and located within communities, we tend to experience some minor theft cases”.
When the News Desk of the Colleges of Education Weekly Journal enquired to know the steps the Principal had taken to address the challenges, he had this to say, “when I obtained the stalled GETFUND projects progress report from the consultant (A. E. S. L) in 2019, I wrote to the Minister for Education through NCTE.We have not received any official correspondence from them to that regard yet. The MCE of the area also wrote a letter through the MP to the Minister for Education regarding the College’s infrastructure deficit. Furthermore, we made a follow up to the Ministry of Education led by the North East Regional Minister about two months ago, and we were referred to NCTE. We met the Executive Secretary and we were told plans are underway to support College with infrastructure projects. We had also been led to the Vice President by the North East NPP Regional Chairman to address same issue. Even though we have made all these follow ups, we are yet to see the results on the ground”.
The News Desk will keep you updated on any latest development on the dire need of infrastructure at Gambaga College of Education.
Source: News Desk, Colleges of Education Weekly Journal.