Dambai College of Education (DACE) has received the Indian High Commissioner, His Excellency Sugandh Rajaram, on the College campus as part of his tours in the Oti Region. The fleeting but historic event which was organised in a grand style, took place on Monday, September 26, 2022 at Dambai College of Education Conference Hall. The event started at 1:16 p.m. shortly after the arrival of the High Commissioner, His Excellency Sugandh Rajaram and his entourage who were ushered in amidst drumming, dancing and great cultural displays. Also present at the function were the Oti Regional Minister, Hon. Dr. Joshua Gmayenaam Makubu, the Oti Regional Commander of Ghana Police Service, DCOP Charles Dormanba, the Council Chairman of the College, Prof. Patrick Ofori-Danson, the Principal of the College, Dr. Mrs. Benedicta Awusi Atiku and members of the Academic Board, CETAG, CENTSAG and SRC Executives.

In his welcome address, the Council Chairman of the College, Prof. Patrick Ofori-Danson welcomed everyone to the landmark event. He expressed gratitude to the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Oti Regional Minister, Hon. Dr. Joshua Gmayenaam Makubu for their contributions in writing the success story of Dambai College of Education in recent times.  

Highlighting the core mandate of the College, Prof. Ofori-Danson said DACE had chattered a unique path of training pre-tertiary teachers. He further explained that the College now trains teachers in Bachelor of Education Degree programmes.

Turning to the main purpose of gathering, the Council Chairman explained that collaboration, which is mandated by the Act of Colleges of Education, matters a lot in tertiary education because it establishes strong ties among various agencies and training institutions. Therefore, it was not out of place for Dambai College of Education and the Indian High Commission to enter into a partnership for quality teacher training. According to him, Ghana has a lot to benefit from India in such areas as Agriculture, Education, Biological Sciences and many others. He added that many Ghanaian lecturers for instance, had benefited from scholarships to India for their professional development. Prof. Ofori-Danson thus indicated that the presence of the Indian High Commissioner, His Excellency Sugandh Rajaram at Dambai College of Education was at the right direction and in good time. He ended by saying that DACE wants to be different from the rest of the colleges of education in Ghana in its service provision.  

Presenting her address, the Principal of the College, Dr. Mrs. Benedicta Awusi Atiku joined voice with the Council Chairman to welcome all to Dambai College of Education. She expressed gratitude to the Indian High Commissioner for being the brain behind the gathering.

According to Dr. Mrs. Benedicta Awusi Atiku, DACE has been training teachers to implement pre-tertiary education since 1974. The Principal explained that since DACE’s upgrade to a tertiary institution, the College has benefited from many donor funded programmes or projects. She emphasised that DACE serves as a major centre of human resource development in the Region as the College located in the capital town, Dambai of the Region.

Recounting few of the successes chalked by the college in recent times, the Principal indicated that in the recent national elections organised by the Teacher Trainees Association of Ghana (TTAG), DACE’s Former SRC President, Mr. Jonathan Dzunu was elected the National President of the association. She added that the College now runs both regular and sandwich programmes. Besides, DACE continues to enter into partnerships with various organisations including the people of India; hence, the College is ready to be influenced by India through the signing of memorandum of understanding with some tertiary institutions of India.

According to Dr. Mrs. Atiku, “we want to create India in Ghana through the Oti Region.” The Principal indicated that the College has enough space for expansion. She added that DACE enjoys the mixed cultural characteristics that exist in the Oti Region. Dr. Mrs. Benedicta Awusi Atiku further explained that DACE has good performance among students and ready to improve that by creating India Corner in the College. To achieve this, part of the College Library (Ofori-Danson Library) would be dedicated to India Corner, and the Cultural Troupe of the College would be ready to participate in music and cultural programmes. She indicated that the Government of Ghana being led by His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of the Republic would be happy to hear about the positive impact of DACE’s relationship with India. Thus, the College needs support from the India Government in terms of scholarship to staff and students of the College for capacity building in some India Universities and for the Cultural Troupe to visit India for cultural exchange during those festivals in India.

Bringing her address to an end, the Principal took the audience through a PowerPoint presentation on DACE’s profile, for them to know more about the College.  Key areas captured in the Principal’s presentation included the college website, address, vision and mission statements, core values, policies, programmes being offered, academic departments and other units, previous partnerships and facilities.

Addressing the gathering, the Oti Regional Minister, Hon. Dr. Joshua Gmayenaam Makubu remarked that “If you say Oti Region, it is DACE, and if you say DACE, it is Oti Region.” According to the Minister, DACE has distinguished itself among all colleges of education in the country in terms of discipline and tenacity. He thus indicated that any relationship between DACE and India would yield a positive result. The Regional Minister added that DACE had undertaken a lot of physical projects with Internally Generated Fund (IGF). Hon. Dr. Joshua Gmayenaam Makubu also revealed that the faculty members of the college contribute a lot to the progress of the Oti Region. According to him, DACE is the only tertiary institution in the Oti regional capital, Dambai, and he is sure the College will meet all the requirements and terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), if signed.

In his address, the Indian High Commissioner, His Excellency Sugandh Rajaram thanked the host and organisers of the function for the hospitality he had received upon his arrival in the Oti Region. He lauded the College choir for singing the Indian National Anthem perfectly. He explained that the Indian National Anthem is distinct in its substance; it is a melodious description of the country, it is about patriotism. The Indian High Commissioner thanked the Oti Regional Minister and all other stakeholders for the opportunity created for him in the region. He indicated that the aim of the relation is for India to participate in transformation of the region, because India has been a substantial part of Ghana in building institutions of national development. He added that India is now one of the largest development partners of Ghana. According to him, both countries are rich in diversity in both culture and heritage.

The High Commissioner said he was in the region to have a dialogue in the area of development and cooperation. Hence, he was happy both the Council Chairman and the Principal of the College had highlighted the areas where India could be of help. He also said he would explore the ideas and start the dialogue, after which action would be undertaken because the areas mentioned are feasible areas in capacity building and training.

His Excellency Sugandh Rajaram promised to establish a centre (India Corner) in the College for disseminating information about India, and he would add to the resources at the India Corner as and when necessary. He therefore launched the India Corner by presenting to the College through the Principal, a book on ‘women-led development in India’ and other books. The High Commissioner also promised to supply to the College, other books with time as the relationship grows. 

The High Commissioner also assured the gathering that he would establish DACE academic fraternity of India through joint studies and research between the College and other tertiary institutions in India. Simply put, he would establish a meaningful relationship between the Oti Region and India in tertiary education. He will therefore establish a scholarship package for the faculty members and students of the College.

As part of the function, the Indian High Commissioner was decorated in DACE colours with the College Anniversary Cloth, after which photographs were taken with him by the Oti Regional Minister and other representatives of the Regional Coordinating Council; the Council Chairman and other members of the College Council; and the Principal and members of the Academic Board. The photography was followed by an Indian cultural display, staged by the DACE Cultural Troupe.

In his closing remarks, the Council Chairman, Prof. Patrick Ofori-Danson thanked everyone present at the function. He indicated that the event marked another great day of collaboration with India. The Council Chairman was grateful for the books donated to the College by the Indian High Commissioner. He promised the books would be put to good use by the College. Prof. Ofori-Danson therefore advised that a special shelve or corner should be created at the College library and labelled as “Indian Affairs” where the books would be placed for easy access.

The Council Chairman again thanked the Oti Regional Minister, Hon. Dr. Joshua Gmayenaam Makubu for the good remarks he had made about the College. He was also grateful to the Indian High Commissioner, His Excellency Sugandh Rajaram for the scholarship package to be established for faculty members and students of the College. Prof. Patick Ofori-Danson ended by saying that the event was just the beginning of a dialogue between DACE and India.

All told, the landmark event, which ended at 2:36 p.m., was a great achievement that will remain permanent in the history of the College. 

Source: DACE Editorial Board

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