Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Founder of the Convention People’s Party and the first President of Ghana, prioritised education as a tool for diffusing ethnic tensions, and unifying the country through the promotion of a national identity.
Dr Nkrumah was a great Pan-Africanist and politician whose legacies live on.
As the country commemorates the 66th independence anniversary, the Ghana News Agency looks at his legacies in the education sector.
Establishment of Universities
Dr Nkrumah founded the University of Cape Coast, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the University of Ghana, the Kwame Nkrumah Institute of Economics and Political Science(now South campus of the University of Education, Winneba), Kumasi Technical Institute (now a University), Accra Polytechnic, now Accra Technical University and the Ghana Medical School.
They are to provide and improve higher education in the country.
Establishment of Training Colleges
The creation of more secondary schools, necessitated the need for more quality teachers to be trained to help improve learning outcomes.
The idea led the first President to initiate the setting up of 16 other teacher training colleges in the country in 1948, including the Atebubu Training College, Berekum Training College, Fosu Training College and the Enchi Training College, the Kwadaso College of Education, the School of Languages in Ajumako and the Ghana National College in Cape Coast.
Establishment of the Ghana Education Trust
After setting up Ghana National College, Dr Nkrumah expanded the boundaries of education by establishing the Ghana Education Trust to set up other secondary schools.
Under the Nkrumah administration, secondary education in particular received notable attention, as it was perceived as vital for educational progress and overall national development. A ‘national’ secondary schools project, in which quotas for different regions were given for each school, aimed to particularly increase access to secondary education in remote and poor regions such as the Northern, Upper West, and Upper East areas.
Some secondary schools that were opened under the Trust include Mfantsiman Secondary School, Ofori Panyin Secondary School, Techiman Secondary School, Apam Secondary School, Swedru Secondary School, Dormaa Secondary School, Tema Secondary School, Oda Secondary School, and the Labone Secondary School.
Free basic education:
In 1961, Dr Nkrumah introduced free education for primary and middle schools to ensure that every child of school-going age had access to quality education.
Not only did Dr. Nkrumah provide free education, but he also supplied free textbooks to schoolchildren in 1963.
The above policies and interventions impacted positively in the rapid socio-economic development of the country.
Most of the schools and colleges he established are still doing very well building the human resource base of the country.
Dr Nkrumah attended the Government Training College, which became part of Achimota College in Accra in 1927, and obtained Teacher’s Certificate from the College in 1930.
He became a teacher in 1931 and was later promoted to be the head teacher at the Catholic School in Axim.
In 1935, he studied at Lincoln University, USA, and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in 1939 and a BA in Theology in 1942.
In 1942, he received a Master of Science degree in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. He received his Master of Philosophy (MPhil) from the same University in February 1943.
He was awarded a doctoral degree in law at Lincoln University and named the most outstanding Professor of the year by the Lincolonian in 1945.
This article is sourced from www.britanica.com/biography/kwame -Nkrumah.