Ghana, South Africa
World Education Network is working with the Ashanti College of Art and Industry in Kumasi, Ghana which will double as headquarters for the African Virtual School. Art courses developed by the school will be offered worldwide through the click-a-teacher platform, while it's art students take e-learning courses to strengthen their core knowledge. The school's administrator, Kwesi Ansa Jr., has broken ground with plans to add several new buildings and a dormitory. The school will become a base of operations from which much of the educational and vocational content for the Africa project will be organized, translated and delivered. Students from the College of Art and Industry have a reputation for excellence in African art. Former student, Asayaw Osattene Ashante sells his Asanti Masks, and paintings through Novica. Novica, in association with National Geographic, provides marketing services via the internet.
About the college:
The Ashanti College of Art and Design, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education's Policy, which seeks to project the personality of the Ghanaian children in the spirit of self-reliance and industry, and to help solve the increasing problems of unemployment among the youth, who in the frustration migrate from rural to urban areas in search of white collar jobs, this school has been established. It provides young school leavers an opportunity for self-employed either individually or cooperatively at the rural development level in such areas as textile designing i.e. printing, dyeing, weaving and basket, pottery and ceramics, brick and tile production, drawing and painting, graphic designing and sign writing, book illustrations, home science, hair dressing and embroidery etc, after their basic training here.
Date of Establishment and Course Program
The college of Art and Industry was opened on the 10th October 1973, and is presently housed in temporary buildings, private sectors with emphasis on industrial subjects, such as pottery and ceramics, sculpture, textile designing, weaving, printing, dyeing, basket, technical drawing, and painting.
The above mentioned industrial subjects are also offered as electives with other core subjects in tune with the ongoing SSS concept. Academic subjects such as English, Modern Mathematics, General Science, Economics, Accounting, Bible Knowledge, Commerce, Business Methods, Introduction to Business Management, Art and other subjects which help the student to prepare for life in general are also pursued up to G.C.E. levels. For the levels, subjects such as Art, African Traditional Religion, Economics, Government, Accounting, Business Management and History of art are offered for examination.
The level course runs concurrently with a special 2 or 3 year senior industrial course for post secondary level students respectively. In addition, there is a 2 year industrial course for drop-outs, all physically disabled or handicapped persons such as cripples etc. who would otherwise have been a liability to the nation but as a result of this course can now be gainfully employed at various establishments. A case in hand is the cripple at Ghana National Cultural Centre who is actually a product of this school. The above mentioned Advanced Industrial Course for Post Secondary Students, enables the products either to set up their own industries or work for other establishments or even pursue further courses at the University or other Institutions of higher education.
Organizational Problems and Staff Requirement:
In all these courses, the majority of the highly qualified staff needed and used for their execution are mainly drawn from either the National Service Scheme or Part Time Tutors, due to lack of adequate funds for the salaries of otherwise qualified permanent staff of the same category. This inadequacy of revenue is mainly a result of the low level of student enrollment which in turn can be attributed to lack of accommodation or space, for expansion at our present temporary site. At present the school has a total of 16 members of staff consisting of 11 graduates and 5 non graduates and total enrollment of 200 students made up of 120 boys and 80 girls.
Pioneers: In spite of the above mentioned constraints, the college has been able to turn out various personalities since its inception. For example out of the 8 pioneers who ended their course in 1987; 5 were readily admitted to the Specialist Training College at Asokore and are serving and are serving in some higher institutions. In fact one of them happens to be the head of the Art Faculty in a Nigerian University. Since then the college has fed the U.S.T. with at least one Art student Annually.
In July 1979, the College successfully held its maiden exhibition which attracted a sizeable crowd of spectators at the National Cultural Center in Kumasi. As a result of this event, the enrollment jumped from 130 to 180 students.
In 1985, the school was upgraded after the requisite inspection by the Ministry of Education from a grade B institution to a grade A.
In 1986 the school was allocated a stand in the Indutech Trade Fair, upon an invitation by the Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology, which led to the award of a certificate of merit in Ceramic production.
Level Art Center:
In 1987, the ministry of Education upon a request from the W.A.E.C. once more inspected the school and recommended it for consideration as a G.C.E. Level Art Examination Centre.
Future Development and Problems
Plans For Examination:
As already mentioned the College is presently house in temporary buildings since its establishment in 1973, and urgently needs to be expanded for a greater intake of students. We have therefore obtained and have built a wall around eight and a half acre land meant to serve as a permanent site in the Metropolis of Kumasi. The layout plan is available for inspection.
Plans for the school are underway. Designed as a boarding school for 1200 students will afford an environment for growth and productivity for disadvantaged youths. This project will be completed the summer of 2012.