Ghana Beyond Aid: The Role of Colleges of Education in the Development of our Nation

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Dr. Samuel Awuku, T-TEL's Key Adviser on Policy, Leadership and Institutional Development, delivered a speech that moved and inspired the 2019 graduating class of Kibi Presbyterian College of Education at the school's 12th Congregation ceremony  on Saturday 8th June, 2019.

See Transcript of the Speech Below:

Chair of the 12th Congregation of Kibi Presbyterian College of Education

Osagyafo Amoatia Ofori Panin, Okyenhene

Honourable Minister, Eastern Region

Principal and staff of Kibi Presbyterian College of Education,

The Vice Chancellor - University of Cape Coast

The Team Leader- Transforming Teacher Education and Learning (T-TEL)

Principals and other members of the Academic community

Distinguished Invited Guests

Members of the Media

Graduating Class


Ladies and gentlemen

I am delighted for being able to honour this invitation as the guest speaker at the 12th Congregation of Kibi Presbyterian College of Education for the conferment of Diploma on 2018 Graduands.  I wish to express my gratitude to the Principal Rev. Charles Fosu-Ayarkwah and the planning committee for this privilege.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, this ceremony offers a great opportunity to celebrate not only the hard work of the graduating class, but also the hardwork, dedication and commitment of management, staff, parents and other stakeholders of this great College. They have worked relentlessly to prepare and develop these graduands into the teacher they are today. As we celebrate the hard work of this college and its stakeholders, it is also a moment of deeper reflection. A reflection on what makes us Ghanaians! A reflection on the Ghana we need! A reflection on the role of education in transforming Ghana into a nation that values more its sovereignty. The 12th Congregation Ceremony of Kibi Presbyterian College of Education offers a unique opportunity for all us herein gathered and as a nation to take stock and reflect on the role of Colleges of Education in contributing to the development of the Ghana we need. It is for this reason that I am convinced that the theme for this ceremony “GHANA BEYOND AID: THE ROLE OF COLLEGES OF EDUCATION IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF OUR NATION” is timely and so relevant.

Beyond aid as a concept has been in the international development and policy arena for over twenty years but it is only now that Ghana has decided to make it a policy initiative and a household name for a good reason. In my view, there is no better time than this for Ghana to be more upfront with her developmental initiatives. For the purpose of this ceremony and for the avoidance of sophistication let us agree that;

Ghana beyond aid:  

  • is a demonstration of our collective desire to place Ghana in the world’s boardroom of decision makers.

Ghana beyond aid

  • is Ghana’s agenda to accelerate her development through effective, efficient and most economical use of own resources to the extent that if other countries want to contribute or give us resources to use for our development, such resources and contributions will only be accepted on our terms.

Ghana beyond aid

  • encapsulate the position that it is only Ghana that can define its own destiny and call on Ghanaians wherever they are in the world to play their part in doing the right thing, living and demonstrating the true values of being a Ghanaian, taking charge to correct the vices in our societies, standing for the truth and nothing but the truth; being a responsible, honest and creative citizen. A Ghanaian who understands the true meaning and value of 6th March 1957 and its implication for the development of our beloved nation – Ghana.

Ghana beyond aid

  • is an agenda about the development of our dear nation from within – burying our political, religious, ethnic, social and economic differences so that together we can push the wheelbarrow of development with unity in diversity as a catalyst; as the propelling force that energizes and motivates us to persevere in the face of developmental challenges that we have. Unity in diversity becomes meaningless until every Ghanaian understand that what binds us together is more than those that divide us and therefore intentionally resolve to brighten the corner wherever we find ourselves.

Ghana beyond aid

  • is about self-help in developing key sectors of Ghana’s economy:
  • Our industrial sector needs accelerated development
  • Our agriculture sector needs accelerated development
  • Our service sector needs accelerated development
  • In fact, every sector need developing

You will agree with me that the accelerated development of these sectors can be tackled more robustly and strategically if all of us - Ghanaians - play our part and play it meaningfully and at times, sacrificially. We need to work together to generate the needed development finances from our domestic resources – gold, diamond, oil, timber, talent etc - and combine these finances with any from donors to accelerate the development of our nation. It is about coming together, to get things done together for the benefit of all and not only the privilege view.

In sum, Ghana beyond aid in the words of Richard Carey a former Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD] Director of Development Cooperation - seeks to create, in effect, a new social contract between governments and their peoples, in which all financial resources, foreign and domestic, are seen together and used to “get things done”, with fundamental, inclusive, development impacts, taking Ghana beyond the frameworks of international donors and institutions for its decision-making.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, we can see that looking at Ghana beyond aid this way clearly places a huge demand on our education system and uniquely on the Colleges of Education.   It demands that our educational system serves as the pipeline for providing the needed human capital with the right attitude and mindset ready to make a meaningful contribution to the development our nation; Ghana. Which also means, teachers are needed to lead in developing the human capital required for the rapid development of our nation.  Education is an important element of Ghana beyond aid. Undeniably, Ghana beyond aid is meaningless and all its related initiative useless if the country does not have an educated and committed workforce.  The role of Colleges of Education is therefore crucial in ensuring that the needed workforce is appropriately educated and are of high moral standards and of good quality. By the Colleges of Education Act of 2012, Act 847, Colleges of Education are obligated to train students to acquire the necessary professional and academic competencies for teaching in pre-tertiary institutions and non-formal education institutions. Colleges of Education are obligated to expose students to modem and innovative techniques of teaching and learning in order to promote critical thinking and problem-solving skills in the classroom. By this, Colleges of Education are expected to develop true teachers for Ghana’s schools and by extension for nation development. Having true teachers in our schools across the country is a necessary condition for the development of our nation.

Chair, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, as an educator and development practitioner, I have always taken the position that education is the most important sector in any country and the teacher - critically - a true teacher; the most important professional that any nation state can have and behold. True teachers worth more than gold. True teachers hold the key to the development of any nation. True teachers are responsible for developing young and curious minds into the doctors, the nurses, the engineers, the lawyers, the politicians, the clergy, the accountants, the computer scientists the teachers – the human capital we need of our nation. The teacher develops the teacher. The teacher is responsible for developing the human capital of any nation and for that matter all the other capitals such as the social, cultural, political and economic capitals. A nation’s development is largely dependent on the quantum and quality of available capitals – the available knowledge, skills and their relevance to the needs and the developmental agenda of our country, Ghana.  The Colleges of Education, as gatekeepers to the door of national workforce development need to be deliberate about preparing true teachers for Ghana’s schools.

Distinguish ladies and gentlemen, a true teacher according to Ellen White in her book Education, is not satisfied with second rate work. A true teacher is not satisfied with directing learners to a standard lower than the highest they can possibly attain. A true is never content with imparting to leaners only technical knowledge, with making them merely clever accountants, skillful artisans, successful politicians and lawyers, but a true teacher’s ambition is to inspire learners with principles of truth, obedience, honour, integrity, and purity – principles that will make them a positive force for the stability and development of our nation. No development can take place for just producing individuals with technical skills only, but Ghana needs individuals who are inspired by the principles of truth, integrity, honesty and hardwork. In fact, aside health, education and scientific research, the key to Ghana’s development is individuals and professionals (leaders) who cannot be bought or sold - individuals who are honest.

In this regard distinguish ladies and gentlemen our Colleges of Education should be centres of true education in other to develop true teachers. True education as said; does not ignore the value of scientific knowledge or literary acquirements; but above information, true education values power; above power, true education values goodness; and above intellectual acquirements, true education values CHARACTER (Ellen White). Ghana does not so much need men and women of great intellect as of noble character – Ghana needs men and women in whom ability is controlled by steadfast principle. Therefore, character building is the most important work that Colleges of Education need to embrace hundred percent plus one (100% +1) if we are to make 360 degrees shift in our attitude and mindset.

It is for this reason that both the new National Teacher Education Curriculum Framework and the National Pre-tertiary Framework, approved by the Government of Ghana; posit that our education system should nurture Ghana’s boys and girls into honest, creative and responsible citizens.  Colleges of Education needs to become centre for developing agents of change – the true teacher and today as we celebrate the achievements of these young women and men herein gathered; the class of 2019, I wish them all the best in the work they are going to be doing to make Ghana beyond aid a reality.

Graduating class of 2019 – please go into the cities, the towns and the villages of Ghana as true teachers. Go and inspire and build character. Go and live without reproach. Go and make other true teachers, cleaver accountants, doctors, nurses, engineers, lawyers and honest, creative and responsible citizens in the primary schools and Junior high schools you may find yourselves. Be the light to brighten any corner you find yourself. At the end – leave a legacy. A legacy of a good name which we know is better than riches. God bless and guide your footsteps in your journey to becoming a true teacher. God bless Colleges of Education as they aim to become centres of true education. God bless our country Ghana on her journey to becoming a nation beyond aid.

Graduating class of 2019, I urge you to go as true teachers into the cities, towns and villages of Ghana and leave a legacy!

Thank you!


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David Kwaku Aboagye

Comment by David Kwaku Aboagye |

Great, timely and thought provoking speech. It is a challenge to all of us as citizens of this great nation, Ghana to contribute our quota to help build and sustain the achievements made so far by our forefathers. Thank you Dr Awuku for this inspiring speech. God bless you in all all your endeavours.

Joojo Bonnie

Comment by Joojo Bonnie |

Excellent Dr. Awuku what a speech “ A true teacher according to Ellen White in her book , Education is not satisfied with a second rate work.
Ghana needs individuals who are inspired by principles of truth, integrity honesty and hard work. keep it up Doc