President John Agyekum Kufuor on Saturday announced that government has planned to tackle the residential accommodation problems in all the 38 Training Colleges of Education in the country.
He said this forms part of the New Education Reforms, which sought to address the lapses inherent in the old education reforms.
President Kufuor said this in a speech read on his behalf by Ms. Elizabeth Ohene, Minister of State, in-charge of Higher Education, at the centenary anniversary celebration of Saint Francis Training College of Education (FRANCO), at Hohoe.
It was under the theme, “The Impact of Catholic Discipline on Teacher Education for National Development: The Way Forward”.
President Kufuor said the provision of well-equipped computer laboratories in partnership with the Church and tertiary institutions was another priority for the Colleges.
He said through the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND) various infrastructural development projects were currently underway in the teacher training colleges' nationwide, as part of government programme to build the capacity of the teacher.
Under the new reforms, President Kufuor said 15 out of 38 colleges have been selected and equipped to train teachers in science and mathematics in addition to upgrading all colleges into Diploma awarding institutions.
He said Certificate “A” teachers were undertaking courses to upgrade them to Diploma status to enhance the productivity of teachers towards national growth and development.
President Kufour said FRANCO was benefiting from a six classroom block, library, science laboratory and assembly hall under the package.
He congratulated the Catholic Mission for her role in the human resource development of the nation adding that Catholic educational institutions were synonymous with discipline.
President Kufour observed that alumni of FRANCO continued to perform creditably countrywide and globally, notable was the Reverend Father A. O. Dogli, the first black Catholic priest in West Africa.
Most Rev. Francis A. Lodonu, Bishop of Ho Diocese of the Catholic Church, called for State and Church collaboration in the spiritual and academic development of the citizenry.
He appealed to government to upgrade FRANCO into a first University College in the Volta region.
Professor Norbert K. Kofinti, chairman of Board of Governors of FRANCO, called on current students to measure up to the standards and congratulated the early and present missionaries and Catholic faithful for their support for the College.
Mr. Dennis Agbenuvor, Principal of the College, said students and staff population stood at 1,393 and 89 respectively including non-teaching members of staff.
He said the College had excelled academically, topping the ranking of the Teacher Training Colleges by the Institute of Education, University of Cape Coast as well as chalking successes in sports.
Mr. Agbenuvor said the College's challenges included land encroachment, residential accommodation, poor roads and drainage.
Mr J. K. Benyingi, Chairman of FRANCO Old Students Association, commended government for providing the College with infrastructure and urged the alumni to contribute to the development of their alma mater.
Richard Adzto-Ntem, President of the College Representative Council, called on government to adjust upwards the allowances of teacher trainee's salaries of tutors.
There were fraternal messages from major actors and seven personalities who distinguished themselves were honoured, including the posthumous recognition of Mr P. Y. Kodjokuma, for being a student, tutor and Principal.
Two busts were unveiled in memory of Mr. Michael H Coleman and Mr P.K. Akoto-Ampaw, both past Principals of the college.