The Gbewaa College of Education at Pusiga is about 12 percentage points to achieving its gender parity policy target of 1:1 after offering admission to 163 fresh female students for the 2019/2020 academic year.
The total admission offered by the College to applicants of the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) Degree in Basic Education programme for the academic season was 370 with 207 being males, representing 56 per cent and 163 females, representing 44 per cent.
However, in 2017, the college admitted 240 males, representing 70 per cent and 103 females, representing 30 per percent, while in 2018, it offered admission to 213 males and 123 females, representing 63 per cent and 37 per cent respectively.
This implied that the gender gap, which was 40 percentage points in 2017 reduced to 26 in 2018 and further tumbled down to 12 percentage points in 2019.
“This is in line with the College’s gender policy on admission, which targets 1:1 ratio in the not too far distant future,”
Dr. David Asakiba Ayaaba, the Principal of Gbewaa College of Education told the Ghana News Agency in an interview.
Those admitted have since been officially registered at a matriculation, an integral part and an annual event in the college’s academic calendar.
The Principal said the fresh students should count themselves lucky and advised them to dedicate their time and energy to studies as their families made sacrifices and investments in them and continued to make in order to create better future opportunities for their sustenance.
All the 46 public colleges of education admitted their first batch of students into B.Ed Degree in Basic Education Programme last year.
Dr Ayaaba said whereas those admitted in 2018 and currently in Level 200 were pursuing the Junior High School (JHS) option of the Programme affiliated to the University of Cape Coast, the second batch would do two specialisms - Primary and JHS, in the second year, affiliated to University of Ghana.
He said the new arrangement made the cohort a unique one since in the first year, they would do the same general programme, but from Level 200, choose their respective areas of specialisation.
“This opportunity, however, places on them a high responsibility; a responsibility that requires them to simultaneously combine theoretical learning in the classroom with practical field experience in our partnership basic schools,” he added.
On availability of residential facilities for students, Dr Ayaaba said all the students were allotted residence, but stressed: “Management is poised at doing its best to make them feel comfortable and at home in the halls within the budgetary constraints.”
He added, “There are enough lecture halls to conveniently accommodate students for all their academic work.”
The College boasts of a well-ventilated and spacious library, a well-equipment ICT Laboratory, and reliable internet connectivity.
But, Dr Ayaaba cautioned students to resist the temptation of using the internet for “irrelevant, unproductive, non-academic and pornographic activities.”
But, rather maximise its use for academic research to improve on their intellectual capabilities and understanding.
“The College has professionally qualified, academically sound, dedicated, committed, resolute and selfless lecturers, who are described as determined to assist students achieve their academic laurels.”
Nonetheless, the Principal said the onus was on students to take greater responsibilities. “Their attitudes towards studies will surely motivate the lecturers to offer their maximum support and assistance.”
He said the College has a functional Sick Bay, but management was in the process of entering into partnership with a private hospital to operate it.
“When this materialises, the Sick Bay will become a fit-for-purpose clinic to cater for the health needs of both staff and students and the adjourning communities,” he said.
On discipline, Dr Ayaaba urged students to demonstrate “good conduct and critical-mindedness” as they were essential ingredients for future teachers and role models for school children.
“You must therefore strive to live above reproach at all times,” he added. “Follow due process in resolving grievances and eschew the temptation of taking the law into your hands.”
He advised students to avoid condoning acrimonious behaviours and warned that, those found culpable would be sanctioned accordingly.
Gbewaa College of Education, located in Pusiga in the Upper East Region, is envisioned to training 21st century teachers capable of delivering Ghana’s basic school curriculum with relative ease and minimum supervision.