Mr Chairman/Madam Chairperson, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of
Koforidua (or his representative), College Principal, College Chaplain,
Members of the College Governing Council, District Directors of Education
(or their representatives), Chairperson of the Alumni Week Planning
Committee, President of MOMACOE Alumni Worldwide and Executive
Officers, Nene mԑ kԑ Maa mԑ, Staff and Students of Mt Mary College of
Education, Invited Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, good morning. Indeed, I
was glad when the leadership of MOMACOE Alumni Worldwide (MAW) said
unto me, “go to Mt Mary College of Education to deliver the second Founding
Fathers’ Memorial lecture”. I am grateful to the leadership of the MAW for
this honour done me.
Mr Chairman/Madam Chairperson, Ladies and Gentlemen, the topic given
to me to speak on is “Prospects and Challenges of the New Teacher
Education Reforms in Colleges of Education: The Case of Mt Mary College
of Education”. I must admit that I consider the invitation extended to me to
speak on this topic both a “challenge” and a “prospect”.
A challenge because, Mt Mary College of Education since its establishment
at Agormanya in 1947 (some 72 years ago) has produced many illustrious
sons and daughters, who qualify to deliver the second Founding Fathers’
memorial lecture more than I do, especially following on the heels of the first
memorial lecture successfully delivered by the respected Paul Kofi
Koranteng of 1982 year group. Indeed, jumping from 1982 to 1999 (Dr Enoch
Teye-Kwadjo’s year group) appeared to me to be a challenge because we
have effectively skipped a 17-year cohort of Mt Mary’s illustrious children. All
things being equal, I should probably be getting ready to deliver the 17th
Founding Fathers’ Memorial Lecture and not the second.
A prospect because I am a proud “Staebellion” (from the great Hall of Nobility
[maison de nobles]) and people of noble birth and upbringing don’t shy away
from responsibilities. Knowing too well that there is a tide in the affairs ofPage 2 of 7
men, I quickly realised that accepting to speak at the second memorial
lecture would be an opportunity to make Staebell Hall (named after the late
Rev. Fr. Anthony Staebell) proud and to demonstrate that its past and current
residents have learned to wash their hands and are ready to take their seat
at the table of men (and of women).
Mr Chairman/Madam Chairperson, Ladies and Gentlemen, on the occasion
of the second Founding Fathers’ Memorial lecture, please permit me to
salute the memories of all founding fathers (and mothers) of this great
College for their selfless sacrifices, toil and blood, which laid a solid
foundation on which Mt Mary College of Education (soon to be Mt Mary
University) continues to grow in leaps and bounds. May all founding fathers
(and mothers) who are late rest in peace and rise in glory! And I wish all
those who are alive long life and prosperity! Amen! I would like to salute the
current management, staff, and students for the various roles they are
playing to keep the dream of the founding fathers (and mothers) alive. My
grateful thanks also go to members of MOMACOE Alumni Worldwide for the
various contributions they are making towards the development of Mt Mary
College of Education, as well as supporting one another in their various year
Mr Chairman/Madam Chairperson, Ladies and Gentlemen, educational
reforms have become an important feature in higher education in many
countries across the world. These reforms aim to make higher education
relevant to the needs of its recipients in order to be able to confront the
promises and challenges of the 21st century. In Ghana, there have been
several educational reforms, especially in teacher education. For example,
in 1995 reforms in teacher education curricular shifted the focus from a
teacher-centred approach to teaching and learning to a student-centred
approach to teaching and learning. And in the year 2004, reforms in teacher
education curricular required teacher trainees to undertake a teaching
practicum spanning a year, prior to graduation and certification. I remember,
we used to call it “teaching practice” in our time, then it became “in-in-out”. I
am not sure what name it is called now.
Mr Chairman/Madam Chairperson, Ladies and Gentlemen, it would be useful
to highlight a few of the key reforms taking place in teacher education toPage 3 of 7
provide a context for this lecture (i.e. to let us know where we came from to
where we are today). The current reforms in teacher education require the
teacher-trainee to train for 4 years and to earn a bachelor’s degree in
education. We have moved rapidly from 2-year post-middle certificate “B”, 4-
year Post-Middle Certificate “A”, 2-year and 3-year Post-Secondary
Certificate “A”, 3-year Diploma in Basic Education and to 4-year Bachelor of
Education (B.Ed.). The pioneers of the 4-year Bachelor of Education
commenced the new programme on October 29, 2018. Prior to the new
reforms, colleges of education (formerly known as teacher training
institutions) were placed under the supervision of the Ghana Education
Service. With the passage of the Colleges of Education Act (Act 847) in 2012,
colleges of education have been re-designated as tertiary institutions and
have accordingly been placed under the supervision of the National Council
for Tertiary Education (NCTE).
The new reforms also require students to take a licensure examination on
the completion of their courses. They are also to undertake national service,
among other things. In addition, the new reforms have re-assigned the
colleges of education to universities for the award of their degrees. Mt Mary
College of Education, our great college, has been affiliated to the University
of Ghana. Taken together, the new teacher education reforms align with Goal
4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which requires countries,
including Ghana, to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and
promote life-long learning opportunities for all by year 2030”.
Mr Chairman/Madam Chairperson, Ladies and Gentlemen, what prospects
(if any) do the new teacher education reforms have for Mt Mary College of
Education? In my view the following are some of the prospects that the
reforms have for Mt Mary College of Education.
1. Mt Mary College of Education’s affiliation to the University of Ghana has
the potential to enhance the approval rating of the College. I am convinced
that Mt Mary College of Education would receive large numbers of
applicants because the applicants would be happy to have their degree
certificates awarded by the University of Ghana. The University of Ghana
is a well rated research-intensive university and has partnerships with 87
universities in 27 countries. This means that teacher trainees from Mt
Mary would be able to apply for further studies in many of these partnerPage 4 of 7
universities across the world by virtue of their certificates. In fact, they may
have similar scholarship opportunities just like their counterparts on
University of Ghana campus. In addition, management and staff may also
have opportunities for continuing professional development (CPD) at the
University of Ghana or any of its partners. Indeed, Mt Mary College of
Education has more to gain from its affiliation with the University of
2. The new teacher education reforms have the potential of making Mt Mary
College of Education one of the leading government institutions of higher
learning in the Eastern Region, in general and on Kroboland, in particular.
My view is that if Mt Mary College of Education manages itself well, it may
compete favourably against the University of Environment and
Sustainability, Somanya, which is yet to start operations. Note that the
University of Environment and Sustainability is the only public university
in the Eastern Region.
3. Teacher trainees from Mt Mary College of Education, just like their
counterparts from other colleges, now have the prospect of working as
licensed professional teachers, following the taking of licensure
examinations administered by the National Teaching Council (NTC). The
licensure examination may help to improve the professional standing and
status of teachers and to separate them from non-professional ones
(usually from private schools), who often misconduct themselves and end
up disgracing all teachers in the noble profession. We expect trainees
from MOMACOE to pass the licensure examinations.
4. Another prospect of the new reforms is that management and staff may
soon receive allowances appropriate to their new positions or titles.
Principals may soon be referred to as Provosts, Rectors, or Presidents.
Some teaching staff now occupy positions such as Deans of
schools/faculties. There are ranks such as Chief Tutor, Principal Tutor,
Senior Tutor, Tutor, and Assistant Tutor that teaching staff can be
promoted to. In addition, teaching staff will now receive book and research
allowances (BRA) just like their colleagues in other colleges of education.
These allowances may help them to buy key textbooks that they may
need for their work. We know that their salaries are also being upwardly
adjusted to reflect their new statuses. This may help ease the financial
pressure on them so that they can focus on the core business of teaching
and learning.Page 5 of 7
5. Mt Mary College of Education may in the near future receive applications
from individuals with terminal degrees (e.g. PhD, DPhil, ScD, EduD, etc.)
who will be willing to teach at the College. This prospect may further
enhance the status and approval rating of Mt Mary College of Education
by the public. And if the PhD lectureship application trend I see at the
University of Ghana is anything to go by, then Mt Mary College of
Education may be filled with PhD holders sooner than later.
Mr Chairman/Madam Chairperson, Ladies and Gentlemen, what
challenges does Mt Mary College of Education face in respect of the new
teacher education reforms? In my view the following are some of the
challenges that the College faces.
1. Organisational reforms, just like organisational change, come with both
challenges and prospects. The current reforms in teacher education are
no exception. Therefore, we expect people to resist the reforms if they
consider them as challenges and accept them if they consider them a
prospect. Mr Chairman/Madam Chairperson, Ladies and Gentlemen, do
not be surprised by resistance to change and reforms. This is because
comfort with the status quo is a strong emotion, and nostalgic yearning is
an important part of the human condition. Fact is, at one time or another,
we have all had to resist taking the medication that would ultimately cure
us of our illness because of its bitterness, taste, scent, etc. Reforms may
be bitter, like chloroquine, but ought to be accepted for the ultimate good!
Thus, in trying to implement the new teacher education curricular, College
management must be aware of this and use appropriate and best
managerial practices to get everyone on board in order to make them
good organisational citizens. It is well known that a leader is as good as
2. The new reforms would pose infrastructural challenges to Mt Mary
College of Education. The new programme is 4 years in duration. This
would require more classrooms, labs, teaching and learning materials,
residential facilities, staff bungalows, etc. New infrastructure would also
require new land space. The management of Mt Mary College of
Education must rise up to the infrastructural challenges by making
judicious use of government funds allocated to them. CollegePage 6 of 7
management may begin a process of engaging with industry partners to
have them support infrastructural projects on campus under industryacademia partnership (i.e. BOT; build, operate, and transfer), just as it is
being done at the University of Ghana. MOMACOE Alumni Worldwide has
been supporting infrastructural projects already at Mt Mary College but
can always do better. We encourage members to be more generous to
the College and to link the College to potential educational funders home
3. The theme for the first Founders’ Memorial lecture and 70th anniversary
was "Restoring the Glory of Mount Mary College of Education. The Role
of Alumni". This lecture was delivered by the erudite Paul Kofi Koranteng.
In my view the theme of that lecture suggested that our once great College
has lost its glory. This is a subject matter on which there seems to be little
disagreement. The way forward is that every one, college management,
staff and students, and alumni must work together and hard enough to
help restore the lost glory of the College. This is one of our biggest
challenges, in my view.
4. The new reforms may soon make it possible for Mt Mary College of
Education to admit students with non-residential statuses (i.e. day
students). Students would also start agitating for more academic
freedoms comparable to what their counterparts enjoy at the universities.
This may include what to wear to classes, where to sleep at night, whether
or not to attend classes, etc. All these may pose disciplinary challenges
to both students, staff, and management. We know the motor of Mt Mary
College of Education is “Virtus et Scientia” which means “Character and
Knowledge”. We invite the College management to continue to have
regard for character training for student teachers, while according them
the necessary academic freedoms to which their studies entitle them.
Management and staff of Mt Mary College of Education should endeavour
to treat their students fairly and to give them good experiences while they
remain at the College. The Mt Mary College student teacher today is the
MOMACOE alumni tomorrow!. They are the best assets that this College
can boast off.Page 7 of 7
Mahatma Gandhi once said,
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the
way its animals are treated.”
I dare say that the greatness of a college of education and its moral
progress can be judged by the way its student teachers are treated.
According to Henry Adams,
“A teacher affects eternity: he can never tell where his influence stops.”
We therefore expect the teaching staff of Mt Mary College of Education
to be aware of this. We encourage them to leave a good impression on
their students at all times. Students must be seen as academic juniors.
That is why at the universities, students are called “junior members”
(JCR) and lecturers are called “senior members” (SCR).
Long live the memories of our Founding Fathers!!
Long live Mt Mary College of Education!!
Long live MOMACOE Alumni Worldwide!!