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ASHESI UNCHARTED

24 Feb

Uncharted_TLOU_blog_960x540

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is simply to create awareness. I do not by any means intend to start some propaganda against “the powers that be” in order to force their hand. I doubt they even know who I am or care about some lame blog post with just a little over 10000 views. The way I figure, this battle has been going on in the shadows for a long time and maybe it is time it was brought to light. My weapon of choice, social media.

Let us start with the facts. Ashesi University College (note the highlighted word cos I will come back to that!) is considered by many to be the best university in Ghana. It was voted the 7th most respected company in Ghana 2012 by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Business and Financial Times. It was ranked the 10th best university in Africa by Africa.com Blog. Ashesi’s Founder and President Dr Patrick Awuah was voted the 4th Most Respectable CEO in Ghana 2012. In 2007, the then President of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor presented Patrick Awuah with the Order of the Volta Award in recognition of his efforts in improving tertiary education in Ghana. He was also named amongst the 100 Most Creative People in Business 2010 by Fast Company Magazine. Point is, the man has a lot of awards. Now, would it surprise you to learn that despite all the awards and recognition the institution has received over the years, it still has no charter??

FYI, a charter is given by provincial, state, regional, and sometimes national governments to legitimize the university’s existence. Ergo, without a charter Ashesi doesn’t officially exist. Crazy right?  In Ghana, it is the National Accreditation Board that hands out charters to universities. So you’re probably wondering how the university has operated for the past decade without one. I can assure you, it’s doing nothing illegal. Currently, Ashesi is affiliated with the University of Cape Coast (UCC). As such, all exams papers are reviewed by a UCC board. Ashesi uses UCC’s grading system and Ashesi students receive UCC degrees on graduation day.  As one student put it “Why should I go to school and go through rigorous courses designed & taught by Ashesi lecturers only to graduate and get a UCC degree? It just doesn’t make sense”.  Excellent point in fact. Has Ashesi not proven itself as ready to be autonomous? And it’s not that UCC is a bad school or anything like that. It’s actually a very good university, not as great as Ashesi of course, but then again I may be biased.

Last year, it was reported that UCC was going to assist Ashesi University College to gain autonomy after Dr. Patrick Awuah indicated the college’s intention to apply for a charter after 10 years of mentorship with UCC. Well according to sources, the move fell through. Why?? Apparently, there’s a “new rule” that in order to be considered a university in Ghana you need to have 25 majors?? What!!!!! (* in Lil Jon’s voice). And of course, there is no mention of quality in there. So what is the essence of offering 25 majors if students are not going to be getting a quality education?? Anyways, back to the matter (open and close).  Ashesi currently offers only 3 majors. If the Engineering block that the school is currently building is completed in the 2015, that number will rise to 6 and it still would not be enough. Does that mean if Ashesi removes the “university” from its name, it will then receive accreditation? Or maybe Ashesi should rename itself? Like Ashesi School of Science and Business or Ashesi Institute of Business and Technology?? Smh, I dunno about you but I smell tuna!

Now this is not Ashesi’s first bout with the National Accreditation Board. Back in 2008, the National Accreditation Board of Ghana (NAB) gave the school a directive of suspending its Honor System (The only one in the country). The Senior Assistant Secretary at the NAB Richard Agyei told Joy News that the Ashesi Honor System is “market copying of what happens in other systems without taking into consideration what your own circumstances are.” What are our circumstances? What does that even mean? That Ashesi shouldn’t compare itself to Ivy League schools in the US, or Ghana is full of unethical citizens. Or that once a cheat, always a cheat?  That statement I think is gross disrespect to the country. Anyway, this had led some to speculate that someone up there is holding an old grudge with Ashesi.

As I stated in the beginning, this article is simply meant to create awareness. Only by doing so that we can  then start to raise questions? Ask yourself this: Has Ashesi not proven itself to Ghana and the world already? Is the student not ready to become the master? If you feel the NAB is making the wrong decision, speak up.  Hopefully enough people will learn of what is happening and the issue can be settled.  As Phil Mcgraw put it “awareness without action is worthless”. You can take action now by hashtagging #GiveAshesiaCharter on all social media websites after reading this.

I’m now going to reenact a scene from the movie 300 cos I’m silly like that.

King Patrickus leads 300 Ashesians into battle against the Persian “god-King” Nab-xes and his army of more than one million soldiers.

King Patrickus:“You there, what is your profession?”
Regents:“I am a potter, sir.”
King Patrickus:“And you, what is your profession?”
Legonites:“Sculptor, sir.”
King Patrickus:“Sculptor… And you?”
Centrius:“Blacksmith.”
King Patrickus:“Ashesians?! What is your profession?!”
Ashesians:“Ha ooh! Ha ooh! Ha ooh!”

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24 Comments

Posted by on February 24, 2014 in BlabberMouth

 

24 responses to “ASHESI UNCHARTED

  1. selorm macauley

    March 1, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    central university is also in the same predicament, also affiliated to UCC.It is about time they gave some schools the charter.

    Like

     
  2. Anonymous

    February 27, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Couldn’t be said any better.. Very good article Jeff.. Very good writing.. Keep it up..

    Like

     
  3. supasheva

    February 26, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Lots of #respect for this piece. I am having the time of my life studying Computer Science in this great institution and I think It’s really disappointing to know that perhaps all my hard work will be for naught. On another note you’ve given me inspiration to start taking my writing seriously again. Always like reading your work.

    Like

     
  4. Accradotalt

    February 25, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Reblogged this on ACCRA [dot] ALT Radio.

    Like

     
  5. Eternal Pomise

    February 25, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Impressive article! ‘powers that be’ please read this and change

    Like

     
  6. Anonymous

    February 25, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Ashesi does not have what it takes to be called a full fledged university..standards please…UNIVERSAL….

    Like

     
  7. Judah Newman

    February 25, 2014 at 11:51 am

    This is highly unacceptable and something must be done about it. I offer myself as a leader to lead students to NAB to demonstrate. I mean if persuasion fails, which will always fail even if you if it’s the 9999th time in this country, FORCE must be applied. Great article Jeffery ! Haa oh Haa oh Haa oh!

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  8. David Wainaina

    February 25, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Reblogged this on The Unforgotten Factors. and commented:
    When things tilt……

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  9. David Wainaina

    February 25, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Given the bureaucratic “law”, it will take a century to get it. But am not ready to accept change of name-” Ashesi Institute of Business, Engineering, Technology and list of what is coming later”

    Like

     
  10. Kobby

    February 24, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Reblogged this on Wherever I Lay My Hat.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  11. that_guy

    February 24, 2014 at 10:40 am

    "@jazzyboyjeff: The irony of it all. NAB uses Ashesi's picture on its homepage. pic.twitter.com/q25QwSssof" oh— M. Kessir A. (@cheikh_alkessir) February 24, 2014

    Like

     
    • True

      February 25, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      !!!!

      Like

       
  12. ghanaiancitizen

    February 24, 2014 at 7:49 am

    so i read this article with both sorrow and happiness in my heart. Sorrow because we live in a country where QUANTITY is regarded as opposed to QUALITY and happiness because this issue has been put online for the whole world to see

    Like

     
  13. ashesiais

    February 24, 2014 at 7:46 am

    So what If a university wants to specialize in just five majors does it mean they cant be chartered. National Accreditation Board paaaaaa

    Like

     
  14. Carl Yao

    February 23, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    The language is very direct, stern, but candid truth. I like it! “What!!!!! (* in Lil Jon’s voice)” <– this line killed me!
    All I hope is that the “powers that be” stumble across this article and re-wire their heads.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  15. Adjoa

    February 23, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Great article. Having gone through the Ashesi system myself (grad 2006), I can proudly testify to what quality education can do for this nation. Is it by the powers that be, that a charter can only be given to an institution only when it offers 25 majors? I stand corrected but what does that benefit us when its the result that matters? Are we not, as a people, “sensible” enough to be innovative? Challenge the status quo if indeed it does prove beneficial for all in the end? Our mindset generally, the way I see it, needs tweaking.
    Oh, and I do smell a fish too!

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  16. Charles Ofei

    February 23, 2014 at 5:08 am

    Good article, good information. However I was slightly annoyed to find ‘words’ like “dunno” and “smh” in such an articulate piece.

    Yes we get it; you are young, you are trendy, you are ‘hip’.

    Like

     
  17. koasempa

    February 23, 2014 at 2:04 am

    Nicely put. It is deeply upsetting that in a nation where Ashesi has consistently proven it’s worth , gaining our charter has become such a battle. It makes me wonder if bribes move things faster in Ghana and whether a brown envelope slipped under the table can earn Ashesi a charter sans issues. But then again, that’s just one of those negative thoughts that come to mind. And NAB is not like one of those slow, unnecessarily heirachical , beauracratic systems most government agencies are. Or perhaps they’re just like the rest. And perhaps an envelope will catalyse things. But problem is Ashesi will not . And NAB of course won’t accept any sort of nonsense…. Hmmm … Then what’s their wahala??

    How NAB manages to ammend/ update its rules any time time Ashesi submits an application for a charter continues to baffle me. I bet even if Ashesi agreed to change our name to something as glorious as Ashesi Institute of NAB, we still would have to meet new standards they will come up with.

    Of course , I’m not insinuating that Ashesi is being treated unfairly , but then really, I dont get the NAB. I really do not.

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    • Jeffrey Jefferson

      February 24, 2014 at 7:03 am

      Neither do I Michael. They seem to be shrouded in mystery. making up and changing rules as they come and go.

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  18. Byg Bossman

    February 22, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Unfortunately its a country of broken people not broken systems. Its not a system that has been put in place “25 Majors” That is standing in the way of what should be a proud achievement for Ghana but People who close their minds to progress because of their own Agenda’s. It should be a simple matter to disregard such a “rule” in the case of Ashesi, a school that is making strides to give people an education that they can be proud of but who knows foreign concepts like graduating “MAGNA CUM LAUDE”, while a point of pride for you might just piss someone else of because its gonna take away from his personal ……pride, account, ego…..whatever. Wish creating awareness in Ghana ever actually helped.

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  19. daysbeforethesnow

    February 22, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Thank you sooo much Jeffrey! Honestly, this is a conversation we must constantly have. I’ve just had a recent personal experience with this situation. Yesterday I got an email from the grad school I’m applying to saying because Ashesi and UCC are affiliated, my transcript which was nicely expedited by Eleanora needs to be verified by UCC in writing before my application can be considered. Mind you, that request was made last week…still awaiting reply in writing from UCC (hopefully they respond before classes begin). Should I miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity of an amazing graduate education because of Ghanaian bureaucracy? I don’t think so! #GiveAshesiaCharter

    Like

     
    • Jeffrey Jefferson

      February 22, 2014 at 7:13 pm

      Thanks for reading sylvia. I personally believe that we need to be talking about this issue more and more. its not much but its a start

      Like

       
  20. alyad

    February 22, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    insightful article bro ……….. keep pushing the cause

    Like

     

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