Fresh students of Dambai College of Education (DACE) in Oti Region of Ghana were matriculated into the College on Friday, 4th March, 2022. The magnificent event, which took place at the College’s Ceremonial Grounds, began at exactly 9:00 a.m. with an opening prayer led by the College Chaplain, Rev. Godwin Gbadagba.
In motioning the commencement of the programme, the College Secretary, Mr. Charles G.K. Wumbei made the following remarks: “Matriculation is an annual ritual that characterizes tertiary education system. It is a ceremony at which fresh students are formally admitted into an institution after having duly taken the matriculation oath, making them new members of the institution.” Declaring the purpose of the gathering, the College Secretary said the ceremony was meant to officially welcome and induct all fresh men and women into the institution as full members of the College community.
In attendance to grace the important ceremony was Dr. Felix Longi, a representative of the Vice Chancellor of the affiliate university, University for Development Studies (UDS). Acting on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, Dr. Longi constituted the gathering into an Assembly to make way for the matriculation rituals.
A total of 250 matriculates who were presented by the Dean of Students, Mr. Samuel Abotoworo (with areas of specialization as: B.Ed. Early Grade ─ 25 students; B.Ed. Primary Education ─ 69 students; and B.Ed. JHS ─ 156 students), were led by the Vice Principal of the College, Mr. Frank Awuah to swear the matriculation oath. The matriculation official pronouncement was administered by the Principal, Dr. (Mrs.) Benedicta Awusi Atiku.
The matriculation register was symbolically signed by a rep from each area of specialization under the expert supervision of Mr. Penrose Quansah, the Assistant College Secretary: B.Ed. Early Grade students were represented by Sanja Mark whilst Nsonowaa Jennifer stood in for B.Ed. Primary Education students. For B.Ed. JHS students, Nkomene Augustine Kwasi stood in for History and Geography students; Yeboah Florence signed on behalf of English and Ghanaian Language students whilst Nyigima Joseph Baako signed for RME as well as Music and Dance students.
Delivering a short speech on behalf of the matriculates about expectations of college life, Master Sanja Mark indicated unequivocally that he and his colleagues would not engage themselves in any acts of indiscipline such as alcoholism and drug abuse. He also pledged in his capacity and on behalf of his colleagues that their batch would produce the highest number of first-class students in the history of the college. He ended his speech by saying, “We shall make our books our girlfriends and boyfriends”.
In her address, the Principal of the College, Dr. (Mrs.) Benedicta Awusi Atiku highlighted that Dambai College of Education was officially established in 1974; the College carries the vision to train excellent teachers to meet educational demands nationally and internationally. She emphasised that the mission of the college is to produce competent teachers through quality teaching and learning, research and service to the Ghanaian and global society. According to the Principal, this mission co-joins the College’s Motto, “Sankofa” with her core values such as: excellence, integrity, research, equity in diversity, honesty, discipline and dedication.
Dr. (Mrs.) Benedicta Awusi Atiku also indicated that DACE has created a very conducive atmosphere for students to the extent that students could go for their meals at will as they have only two (2) hours for non-academic activities (manual cleaning exercise) per week so they could have ample time for fruitful academic work. According to the Principal, the College has created registered institutional email accounts for all teaching staff and students; hence, it would be extended to the fresh students soon.
The Principal further revealed that during the 2021 admissions season, the College recorded the highest number of first choice qualified applicants: 1,405 in total; 83 B.Ed. Early Grade applicants, 367 B.Ed. Primary Education applicants, and 955 B.Ed. JHS applicants. Out of this huge number, the College admitted 250 students only, comprising 82 females and 168 males. It is thus very palpable and logical to state that DACE has become an institution of competitive choice.
Dr. (Mrs.) Benedicta Awusi Atiku therefore congratulated the fresh men and women on their admission and stated that they should consider themselves the luckiest to have gained admission into Dambai College of Education (the College of Competitive Choice). She advised the fresh students to take up the attitude of a good student: “Never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new”.
Quoting from Aristotle, the Principal remarked that, “‘educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all,’” meaning, “education without the training of the heart amounts to nothing.” She explained that these wise sayings buttress the point of government’s holistic educational policy through the 4Rs: Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic and cReativity. According to the Principal, that is the dream DACE wants to fulfill through her teacher trainees; because as Nelson Mandela chose to put it out, “Education is the most powerful weapon that can be used to change the world…”
The Principal concluded her speech by saying that “the more you read, the more things you will know, the more you will learn and the more places you will go.” She finally asked the fresh students to visit the College’s website and read about the various policies as discipline is the hallmark of any good achievement.
During the optional remarks segment of the programme, Dr. Felix Longi, the representative of UDS, congratulated the fresh students, management, students and tutors of the College on their achievements in relation to the College’s affiliation to the University for Development Studies. He was delighted for the increasing number of qualified applicants to the College. Dr. Longi stated that the University is also doing her best for the professional progression of the staff of the College; hence, work is almost complete on the staff who applied for promotion recently. He also encouraged the fresh students to study hard so they could further their education at the master’s degree level with UDS, once they are able to graduate with a minimum of Second-Class Lower Division.
In a short speech, the representative of the Municipal Director of Education of Krachi East, Mr. Francis Kofi Okesu encouraged the fresh students to study hard and avoid the undisciplined attitude of running away to town. The representative of Nana Kwaku Beyenor, the Chief of Dambai Traditional Area, added his voice by congratulating the College Management, Tutors and Students on their achievements and the good work they are doing. He used the opportunity to welcome the fresh men and women into the College and to the Dambai Community.
The SRC president of the College, Master Bunju Meshack also ceased the opportunity to introduce Master Hagan Bissah (a second-year student of DACE) to the gathering as winner of the Most Influential Student of the Year Award. The Principal was highly elated, thanking God for listening to their prayers as she presented the trophy to the deserving winner, Master Hagan Bissah. She also informed the gathering that just recently, the former SRC President of DACE, Master Jonathan Dzunu was elected the National President of Teacher Trainees Association of Ghana (TTAG), the highest national student leadership position one could occupy within the College of Education system in Ghana. In addition to that, two other Executive Board Members that worked with him at Dambai College of Education are now serving as sector TTAG leaders.
The icing on the cake was a portrait of the Principal which was made and presented to her by Master Muhammad Dengyimah. Dr. Mrs. Benedicta Atiku, accepted the present as an honour done her and the College as a whole. She asked God to bless the giver for that conspicuous and generous display of love and appreciation.
The Assembly was finally dissolved by Dr. Felix Longi (the representative of the Vice Chancellor of UDS), after a closing prayer led by Mr. Braimah Seidu. The magnificent matriculation programme was brought to an end with a recession executed in a very joyful and jubilant mood.
SOURCE: DACE Editorial Board