53,000 apply for Colleges of Education

Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, (right) addressing the press conference.Photo Michael AyehApplications into the 46 colleges of education in the country reached its all time high this year when admissions were opened for the first batch of students under the newly introduced degree system.

A total of 53,000 qualified prospective teachers applied for admission, as compared to lesser numbers recorded in previous years, according to the Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh.

Although he did not state numbers recorded in previous years, last year’s applications, according to media reports were about 18,000.

Addressing journalists at the meet-the-press series in Accra yesterday, Dr Opoku Prempeh said this was contrary to widely held perception that the green light given to the colleges to run degree programmes would wane interest.

He pointed out that the elevation of the colleges into tertiary status had wiped out the erroneous perception that applicants into colleges of education were inferior to university.

The Minister said that although the increase in numbers would up the amount of teacher allowance to be paid by the government, the government was more concerned with the quality that would come with its decision.

He announced that henceforth, prospective teacher trainees are to apply for admission into the Colleges of Education through their preferred college’s affiliate university.

For instance, those who desire to attend Our Lady of Apostles (OLA) CoE in Cape Coast would purchase admission forms from University of Cape Coast, OLA’s affiliate university.

The new module of application, Dr Opoku Prempeh said was part of the process to make teacher training more robust to affect education outcomes in schools.

To ensure that standards were not compromised, he said the colleges and universities had been made to restructure their curricula for approval from their supervising agency.

He said the new arrangement would also afford the staff of the colleges to upgrade themselves, indicating that soon a doctorate degree would be the standard for teaching at such colleges.

Dr Prempeh defended the government’s decision to merge the Ghana Institute of Journalism, Ghana Institute of Languages and the National Film and Television Institute into one university.

He said the decision would ensure that resources were concentrated on one university, which were serving the same “technical-vocational space” as well as improve their facilities.

Dr Opoku Prempeh said the universities had applied to be made independent universities but they did not qualify, assuring that their request would be granted later when they meet the requirement.

Dr Prempeh disclosed that 16,000 trained teachers had applied to serve as National Service personnel, despite initial agitation.

By Jonathan Donkor and Allia Noshie


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