A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE COLLEGE
Ghana’s attainment of self-rule in 1951 brought in its wake some significant changes and development. One of such changes was the structure of formal Education which was perceived as an emancipator for a whole range of social and political problems.
Education was seen as ‘anibue’ (an eye opener) whose function was to develop the talent of the individual to the fullest extent possible to enable him or her to operate freely in society. Perhaps to reinforce the long-standing faith in Education as a catalyst for development, the Accelerated Development Plan of, was initiated by Dr. Nkrumah’s government, in 1951.
The “pith and core” of this Educational Plan was to develop universal primary education. The quality of education was to depend upon the provision of suitable and well-trained teachers. This led to the opening of many teacher training colleges nationwide, with Saint Francis Training College opened at Hohoe and Evangelical Presbyterian Training College at Amedzofe, both in the then Trans- Volta Togoland. After these two, the then Government felt there was the need for a third Teacher Training College which should be located in the northern part of the region.
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In 1952 therefore, the Evangelical Presbyterian Education Unit was charged with the responsibility of opening this third Teacher Training College by the then government. While searching for suitable and permanent site for the college, Peki Blengo was initially chosen to hold the fort. Two tutors namely the late Rev. H.B.K. Ogbete and Mr. P.K. Kpeto were appointed from Amedzofe Training College to start the new College. On the 21st of January 1952, the new Teacher Training College was opened with thirty (30) male students at the premises of E.P. Girls Senior School at Peki Blengo.
The College was manned by a Body Corporate of eminent educationists (which acted like a” Board of Governors”). The College adopted the motto “SAPERE AUDE” which means “DARE TO BE WISE”. These pioneer students used the girls’ dormitory as their sleeping place and the Home Science Block as classrooms.
The new College was not referred to as Peki Training College but ‘Body Corporate’ or simply ‘Body Co’. A German-American missionary, Rev. Eugene Grau who was then working at Peki Blengo was appointed the Acting Principal. He taught Religious Knowledge while Messrs Ogbete and Kpeto taught the remaining subjects. In addition to teaching, Mr. Ogbete acted as the Bursar. In the latter part of 1952, a retired supervisor of Presbyterian Schools, Mr. F.D. Harker, a Scottish missionary and a trained educationist who worked in and around Begoro in the present day Eastern Region E.P. Education Unit was appointed as the first substantive Principal of the College.
Mr. Harker’s immediate assignment was to expedite action on moving the college to a convenient place in the northern sector of Trans Volta Togoland (now Volta Region).
Nana Osei Brantuo III, the then chief of Jasikan and Adontenhene of Buem Traditional Area accepted to support and host the college, after a series of consultations and deliberations among the chiefs of the northern sector. In August 1952, Rev. Ogbete left Peki to Jasikan to finalize the arrangements for the transfer of the college to Jasikan. On the 12th of December, 1952, the college finally moved to Jasikan and was temporarily housed in Opanyin Kwaku Addey’s house and later the Boy’s Hostel of Bueman Secondary School.
In 1953, there was the need to put-up permanent buildings for the College later named Jasikan Training College and now Jasikan College of Education. Nana Brantuo and his council of elders generously donated their land at the foot of the eastern slope of the Ohinto Hills for the project which was awarded to Messrs. Mitcheletti Polar an Italian construction firm.
It is worth mentioning that through effective and efficient management of resources by Rev. Ogbete, the then acting Bursar, funds were accumulated and later used to build three bungalows for the staff. After building the three bungalows, Rev. Ogbete still had funds to organize educational tours for the students to visit all the regions of Ghana. The tour was crowned with the final year students’ trip to Lagos, Nigeria from 29th September to the 6th of October 1956 (refer to Ghana Teachers’ Journal No. 4 October 1957. “A journey, from Jasikan to Lagos” by H.B.K. Ogbete).
In 1956, the college attained the full Co-Educational status when the first batch of female students numbering fifteen (15), were admitted into the college. The first Speech and Prize-Giving Day of the college was held in 1959. Students who excelled academically and in co-curricular activities received laurels.
The name Peter Ahiable must be remembered for his extraordinary achievement in sports. He was a student handicapped in the lower limbs but managed to clear a height of 5 feet 1 inch to the admiration of all to win the Volta Region High Jump championship.
Until the 1961/62 academic year when the college started the certificate ‘A’ 4- year course, it was running only 2-year certificate ‘B’ course. The first batch of 4-year group passed out in 1964.
It is on record that when the then National Liberation Council (NLC) Government toppled the Nkrumah regime and cancelled the allowances of teacher trainee’s in 1967, there was a nationwide protest by Teacher Training College students.
But students of Jasikan Training College, now Jasikan College of Education never took part in the protests. They saw themselves as allies of government rather than enemies. This shows the sign of maturity and sense of discipline that was and had always prevailed in the College.
The first and the only batch of 2-year Post Secondary Students was admitted into the college in 1974 and the first batch of 3-year Post Secondary students was also enrolled a year later. Thus, the college in 1975 had three different categories of students pursuing courses leading to the award of different kinds of Teachers’ Certificate ‘A’.
In 1978, the 2-year Post Secondary Course was phased out in the College. With the mass exodus of teachers to seek greener pastures in neighbouring countries between 1970 and 1984, the Ghana Education Service introduced a Post- Middle School course dubbed “Modular Programme” to give pupil teachers some academic and professional training. Jasikan Training College was not left out in this new programme. The first batch of the modular students was admitted in 1985. However, the programme was terminated in 1991.
The college mounted a Science Programme and enrolled the first batch of an all Post-Secondary Science Students in 1987. They were all male students. Unfortunately, in 1988, the college could only get one class of students who met the requirements for the Science Programme. This compelled the college authorities to introduce the Arts Programme to run alongside the Science. Even then, the College could not get the required number of students with the minimum entry requirement. Therefore, on concession, some students were admitted and tasked to make the grades in Mathematics and those who failed to make the grade were withdrawn, but were re-admitted to do the post middle course, because of public agitation over their withdrawal. This group of students became the last batch of post middle trained teachers. Jasikan Training College had three male houses and a female house. When the college moved from Opanyin Addey’s house to the present site, the first male house was called NAMELESS, second UNKNOWN and the third INCOGNITO.
It should be mentioned here that all these names really mean the same (i.e. nameless). In 1956, when the first batch of female students was admitted, their house was named Agnata, after Mrs. Agnata Harker, the wife of the late first Principal.
The male houses were renamed Harker, Asamoah and Brantuo in 1960: Harker was the name of the first substantive Principal of the college. Asamoah House was named after the then chairman of Board of Governors and Brantuo house was named after Nana Brantuo III, the noble minded man, who heartily donated the land for the building of the college.
After the 40th year, it was hoped that greater improvement in living conditions of both staff and students would be realized as the College began a decade’s journey towards the celebration of the Golden Jubilee but these expectations turned to be an illusion because some of the perennial problems that had bedeviled the college since its establishment in 1952 still existed. These problems included inadequate accommodation for staff and inadequate classrooms to meet the increasing demand. The staff accommodation problem was so serious that some tutors had to stay outside Jasikan Township precisely at Abotoase and Atonkor and travel to and from school every day. Harker house common room, for instance, was converted into a classroom during 1998/99 academic year. These problems affected the quality of teaching and learning for the period.
Between 1998 and 2001, the Deutsch Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) in collaboration with the Government of Ghana undertook infrastructural development nationwide in all teacher training colleges. The following infrastructure developments were undertaken:
1) Two (2) semi-detached bungalows were built and ten old ones were renovated.
2) An additional hostel for female students was put up.
3) A New library block was put in place.
4) A K.V.I.P. and place of convenience bathhouse for male students provided.
5) The Home Science block was rehabilitated and the Resource centre was developed.
6) Water was extended to all bungalows with overhead tanks built for some
and the old underground reservoir was renovated for water storage; thus solving the then acute water problem of the college to a large extent.
Some equipment donated to the college included an eighteen seater (18) mini bus, two (2) computers and one (1) photocopier. Earlier in 1998, Ghana Education Service renovated the college Dining hall and made extension to meet the increasing student population. In 2001, when the new Teacher Training Programme dubbed “IN-IN-OUT” was introduced, students spent the first two years in college and were posted to ten villages within and outside Jasikan District for a one-year attachment Programme. This practice replaced the former practice whereby trainees practiced four weeks for three times. From 2002, other development projects started springing up in the College, some of them are being:
* A two-bedroom accommodation by JICA.
* A two-bedroom accommodation for the piggery attendant.
* ICT Centre.
* Inner perimeter for the College soccer field.
* Construction of basketball and volleyball courts.
* 60 seater TATA bus donated by Government (GETFUND)
* Fitting Benz bus engine in the mummy truck.
* Garage for college vehicles.
* Nissan Patrol – donated by the Government for the Principal’s office.
It must be well noted that a large number of past students of JASICO have pursued higher education in the universities and other higher institutions of learning both locally and overseas. The old Maroonians as past students call themselves OMA are found in diverse professions.