Ghana’s attainment of self-rule in 1951 brought in its wake some significant change 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 a basic human right whose function was to develop the talent of the individual to the fullest extent possible to enable him to participate freely in society. Perhaps to reinforce the longstanding faith in Education as a catalyst for development, the Accelerated Development Plan in 1951, was initiated by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s government.
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, Hohoe and Evangelical Presbyterian Training College, Amedzofe, were established 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.
In 1952 therefore, the then government charged the Evangelical Presbyterian Education Unit with the responsibility to open this third teacher training College. While searching for suitable and permanent site for the College, Peki Blengo initially held 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 21stof January, 1952, the new teacher training College was opened with thirty 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 girl’s 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 and Messrs. Ogbete and Kpeto taught the remaining subjects. In addition to teaching, Mr. Ogbete acted as the Bursar. In the latter part of 1952, Mr. F. D. Harker a Scottish missionary was appointed as the first substantive principal. Mr. F. D. Harker was a retired supervisor of Presbyterian schools who worked in and around Begoro in Eastern Region.
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 Adotenhene of Buem Traditional area accepted to support and host the College, after series of consultations and deliberations among the chiefs of the northern sector. In August 1952, Rev. Ogbete left Peki to Jasikan to finalise the arrangements for the transfer of the College to Jasikan. On the 12thof December, 1952, the college was finally moved to Jasikan and was temporarily housed in Kwaku Addey’s house (later the Boy’s Hostel of Bueman Secondary School).
In 1953, there was the need to build permanent structures for the College now named Jasikan Training College. Nana Brantuo generously donated his personal land, at the foot of the eastern slope of the Ohinto Hills for the project. An Italian construction firm: Messrs. Mitcheletti Polar was awarded the contract.
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. These are the present bungalows No. 10, 11 and 12 after Messrs.
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 29thSeptember to the 6thof 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 was 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 1961/62 academic year when the College started the certificate ‘A’ 4 year course, it was running only 2 years certificate ‘B’ course. The College never offered courses leading to certificate ‘A’ post ‘B’. The first batch of 4 year group passed out in 1964.
It is on record that when the ten National Liberation Council (NLC) Government toppled the Nkrumah regime and cancelled the allowances of teacher trainees in 1967, there was a nationwide protest by teacher training College students. But students of JASICO never took part in the protests. They saw themselves as allies of government rather than enemies. This showed 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 were admitted into the College in 1974 and the first batch of 3 year Post Secondary students were also enrolled a year later.
Thus, the College in 1975 had three different categories of students pursuing courses leading to the award of different kind of Teachers Certificate ‘A’.
In 1978, the 2 year Post Secondary Course was phased out at JASICO. With the mass exodus of teachers to seek greener pastures in neighbouring counties between 1970 and 1984, the Ghana Education Service re-introduced Post Middle course dubbed Modular Programme to give pupil teachers some academic and professional training. JASICO 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 class in 1987. They were all male students. Unfortunately, in 1988 the College could get only 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 course. 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. Those who failed to make the grade were withdrawn. They were later 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. JASICO has 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. The Asamoah house was named after the then chairman of board of Governors and Brantuo after Nana Brantuo III the noble minded man, who heartily donated the land for the building of the College.
The college is bedeviled with problems such as inadequate accommodation for staff, inadequate classrooms, lack of an Assembly Hall, lack of a modern Science Laboratory, lack of office space for staff and inadequate dormitories for students