A LETTER ON YOUR NEW ROLE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION, WINNEBA, AND ITS RELATIONSHIP WITH EFFUTU’S DEVELOPMENT
I convey to you heartfelt felicitations from Obra Wogum, Market Street in Winneba.
I additionally join your well-wishers to congratulate you on your appointment and investiture few months ago as the Chancellor of the University of Education, Winnneba, more so when it is the major reason for my correspondence. “Wo Nu Mpa”, Neenyi!
Respectfully, you will recall in 2014 (some nine years ago), a native Effutu young man in his late twenties called on you one morning. With a five paged article on Simpa Payin and its negative effect on the Effutu State authored by me on my hand, I came to present a copy to you. You warmly welcomed me and promised to give me a call after reading my text.
Few days later, you invited me and we had a very fruitful conversation. At our meeting, you deepened my insight on the subject and encouraged me for my industry and self-initiated effort to write on that subject. Apparently, the inspiration I gained from you and my resolve to contribute to Effutu’s forward march, was my greatest motivation for writing this script and countless others that may not have caught your attention.
In continuous fidelity to my spirited advocacies, I humbly deem it as a civic duty to share my dispassionate thoughts on your new leadership and influential function at the University of Education, Winneba, since I have the strongest conviction that a systematic application of my expositions, will help the university and the Effutu state, in our collective quest to develop both simultaneously for the present and unborn generations.
From the outset, there is no denying that you have become the Chancellor of a public university which has witnessed bad press than any of its peers in recent times in Ghana. This has undeniably had adverse effect on the institution, making your task challenging from the beginning.
Feasible reforms or a short-to-medium term strategic blueprint, is irreplaceable needed to redirect, rebrand and reposition the school. Nevertheless, for your office to effectively lead the course, some degree of sustainable peace at home within the context of Effutu’s protracted chieftaincy disputes, is required to facilitate the process.
Besides, extreme partisan considerations which takes precedence in all things in Effutu, should be done away with as far as your office and the political circumstance in the jurisdiction is concerned. Conflicts generally, notwithstanding its source, must have no place again around the corridors of the university, including the Effutu township.
Much as I do not intend to advocate for the sacrifice of a heritage or democratic right on the altar of peace building, it is also not far-fetched to appeal for new ways of doing things politically and traditionally. Regardless of the age-long differences, conscious effort must be pursued to consolidate the gains made thus far on peace building, like it beautifully occurred before, during and after the celebration of this year’s Aboakyer festival.
On the other hand, Neenyi, there has also been a conversation on social responsibility from the university to Effutuman. Although it was, and still good for proponents to appeal for it, same must be comprehensively examined, especially in this excruciating economic and financial times the nation and its citizens finds themselves. It is evident the discussions have centred so much on material stuff, which in essence has oversimplified the origin, concept and utility of corporate social responsibilities. Broadly speaking, social benefits from an institution/entity to a territory it operates in, comes in various forms, including services.
It is against this backdrop that I desire to recommend a retention policy for prospective graduates at UEW with good graduating designations (1st class – 2nd lower) be compulsorily made to undertake their internship or national service in Winneba and its environs. This opinion is largely influenced by available data which suggest the performance of BECE candidates in the Effutu Municipality has falling few years prior. Obviously, the performance of pupils at the various educational levels (primary, junior & senior high schools) must improve to reflect the corporate mission of the University of Education, Winnneba, as Ghana’s immediate institute for educators, sited in the Effutu district.
Furthermore, as Winneba is traditionally known for music, the Music department at Central campus must become useful to the chorale fraternity, brass band, Asafo, Ↄmpe and Jama groups. Periodic educative programmes could be organised by the department in conjunction with relevant stakeholders, to improve their skills-set and competencies on music composition, drumming and dancing, singing, and creative arts in general, to meet international standards for commercial patronage.
The Fante dialect, which is also gaining dominance in spoken Effutu, has an effect of making our language and socio-cultural identity extinct in future. The Ajumako Institute of Languages of the university could also help in this direction, by leveraging on previous projects on the publication of Effutu dictionary, in order to preserve the linguistical expression and meaning of Effutu words. On pilot basis, teaching the Effutu language at schools could begin locally, and subsequently be extended internationally through online applications such as google play store, thereby offering an opportunity to indigenous Effutus in the diaspora to learn their native language.
Moreover, several youth are into sport, and it has become essential for some provisions to be made for them to nurture their dreams and aspirations. Dialogues with the university to hand over the Advance park to the Effutu State to be developed into a mini stadium status in future, as it is the venue for hosting the annual Masquerade festival and other social events, would go a long way to help recreational programmes and activities in Winneba.
A flexible admission requirement for applicants from the fisherfolks and farming areas, as well as a merit-based scholarship scheme for brilliant but needy indigenous students, could begin an era of building an elitist and educated Effutu society. Beneficiaries could form an Effutu Students Union on the various campuses to ensure the benefit given them becomes a springboard in protecting the image of the school from local negative tendencies.
Neenyi Chancellor, my organisation, Possibility Transnational, petitioned the Governing Council of UEW through its Chairman, as reported at page 18 of the Wednesday, 22nd September 2021 edition of the Daily Graphic newspaper.
The above-stated was a prayer to the university to accord Ghana’s first president Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s well-deserved place in the academic priorities of the school, since his defunct Ideological Institute founded on 18th February 1961, was the intentful college he established to impart his principles and philosophy; and also not in dispute that after the 1966 coup and periodic facelifts of the ideological institute now South campus, UEW became a full-fledged university in 2004.
The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Cape Coast, University of Ghana and others under Dr. Nkrumah’s initiation, were not originally established to supplement or complement his political and ideological objectives unlike the ideological institute in Winneba (see pages 41 & 48 of Kwame Nkrumah 1909-1972 Edited by Bea Lundt and Christoph Marx).
The historical foundation or evolution of UEW and the role Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s ideological institute played in the process, makes it incumbent on UEW principal officers to ensure its continuous existence or immortality. Perhaps, to settle any controversy that may arise out of this proposal, it is worth emphasizing that your appointor, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo, a known protégé of the political archrivals of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, could not repeal an inherited annual observation of his birthday on 21st September as a public holiday, but only renamed it from Founder’s to Memorial Day. As I write, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah remains the only late Ghanaian leader/statesman whose birthday is observed as such, and will justifiably be for a long time.
Following the latter, your appointor recently again commissioned the refurbished Nkrumah memorial mausoleum, which to me, should bring a finality to the national debates on who is the primus interpares on Ghana’s fight for independence and economic liberation, and ultimately deserves eternal recognition for that.
The University of Education, Winneba, should undoubtedly be the proudest institution on earth to have an ideological foundational relationship with the celebrated African who was voted for by listeners of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in AD 2000 as the Black Man of the Millennium – a posthumous honor/award to last for the next 977 years. If UEW well associate itself and cherishes the remarkable contribution of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in its undertakings, the much-more attractive it would become to the world!
Today, seekers of knowledge across the globe aspire to receive tuition at Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge among others. This is because reputation, prestige and excellence matters a lot in the choice of an institution of higher learning. As an alumnus of the University of Education, Winneba, I wish to see my former school on that trajectory. I yearn to see my alma mater on its feet in leap and bounds. I long to hear and see it breaking barriers and making great academic strides.
Enthused by the popular quote “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” by President J. F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States; this is the little I can do, given the circumstance. Sustainable peace must reign in Winneba for the smooth administration and recovery from the excesses that has surrounded the school’s image, conversations on social responsibilities from UEW should be reviewed, advance park must be handed over to the Effutu people, and Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s name must never die in the school’s academic considerations and priorities.
The University of Education, Winneba, arguably the bread winner of Effutuman, is finally in our care, and the world is keenly looking at how we will successfully help the school to our mutual advantage.
May we all contribute in making the story pleasant to be told one day in future.
Thank you for your attention Neenyi, and God bless Effutuman and the University of Education, Winneba.
Mr. Nathaniel Akyeampong +233242534251/+233208184582