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24.09.2004 General News

KNUST to have six colleges in December

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Accra, Sept. 24, GNA - Various academic disciplines pursued at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) would be regrouped into six main colleges next December.

Under the regrouping, the College of Art would work hand-in-hand with the Social Sciences and both would be known as the College of Arts and Social Sciences.

Professor Kwesi Andam, Vice Chancellor of the University, said the other reorganised academic units would be the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, College of Architecture and Planning, College of Engineering, College of Health Sciences and College of Science.

The Vice Chancellor made the announcement in Accra on Thursday at the posthumus launch of a 94-page book on Art, "Brief History of Art With Special Reference to West Africa", written by the late Reverend Professor Ernest Victor Asihene, first Dean of the KNUST College of Art. Ms Joyce Rosalind Aryee, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, launched the book.

Prof. Asihene's book presents a concise account of the art of West Africa alongside that of Europe and the ancient world. It then records the traditional art of West Africa from a new angle.

In an exploration of traditional and present-day art of West Africa, Prof. Asihene draws attention to the contributions of insufficiently acknowledged artists of talent in the region, and concludes by sketching an inspiring vision of how West African artists might be mobilised for further achievements in the future.

Prof. Andam said the University was undergoing a transformation into a multidisciplinary institution, and described the late Professor as interdisciplinary in outlook.

"Although his first interest was art, he never ceased addressing this interest to the general university community and the society at large," Prof. Andam said.

He said the career of Prof. Asihene, who joined the University in the 1960s, "made the University".

"His life after that offers a classic case study for those interested in the place of Art as a discipline in the University. "He nurtured the courses from certificate level, through diploma and finally degree level courses, and also initiated post-graduate programmes."

Professor Andam said the late Prof. Asihene was concerned that the artist should not be confined to art during his training but should be given the kind of education that would enable him to function effectively with his colleagues in Engineering, Pharmacy, Architecture and all the disciplines pursued in the University.

He appealed to the family and the University's Museum of Arts, Science and Technology to extend the frontiers of what was entailed in the long career of Prof. Asihene.

Alhaji Abdul Rahman Haruna Attah, Member of the Ghana National Commission on Culture, on behalf of the Commission's Chairman Professor George Hagan, said the President had approved a national policy on culture, under which a Cultural Development Fund had been proposed for the development of the arts.

Alhaji Haruna Attah, who is also the Editor of the Accra Daily Mail newspaper and former student of Professor Asihene, recalled with nostalgia the days at the College of Art and advocated that the study of English as part of the course in Art, then compulsory, should be revisited.

Mr Daniel Ohene-Adu, Acting Dean of KNUST College of Art, said when the new collegiate system became effective in December, the College of Art, as it now existed, would be split into two faculties, each consisting of three academic departments.

He said this would make room for the expansion of facilities. Professor Ablade Glover, former Dean of the College and Founder of the Artists Alliance in Accra, said the fundamental structures of the nation could be built on culture.

Dr Leticia Obeng, an Environmental Management Consultant and sister of Professor Asihene, expressed the hope that the book would inspire readers towards a rediscovery of art in their own way.

The Asihene family presented a painting, which the late Professor willed to the people of Ghana to the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board. The painting depicted Asomani, the African who ousted the then white Governor of the Christiansborg Castle.

Among those present at the launching were the President of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, Nana Asante, eminent scholars and artists.

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