Asante Bekwai United Schools’ Arts and Crafts Centre: a Model of Technical/Vocational Education (TVE) Curriculum Diversification and Utilization of local Expertise in colonial Ghana (1940-1950)

Philip Oti-Agyen, Fredrick Kwaku Sarfo, Samuel Kofi Assoah, Frank Owusu Sekyere


The paper discusses the general organization and operation of Asante Bekwai United Schools’ Arts and Crafts Centre as a model of TVE in the country during the 1940s.  In particular, it focuses, inter alia, on the positive consequences of judiciously utilizing the “top-down change” and “bottom-up change” to use the words of  Fullan (2007) in TVE educational policy formulation and implementation in colonial Ghana.  This feat was achieved through the leadership efforts of  the British colonial administration, the four missionary bodies then  at Asante Bekwai (namely the Methodist Mission, the English Church Mission, the Catholic Mission and the Seventh-day Adventist Mission) the Asante Bekwai traditional authority and the Achimota College in Accra.  It further discusses the nature of the curriculum of the Centre and its utilization of local expertise in the teaching and learning process   It further discusses the effects of the income generation activities at the Centre.  In this endeavour, a critical analysis of relevant historical information retrieved from the Public Record and Archives Department (PRAAD) office in Asante Region of Ghana was undertaken by the authors. The study, inter alia, revealed that the collaboration between the Centre and stakeholders greatly contributed to the steady progress of the Centre. It was again observed   that the curriculum of the Centre was quite versatile; capable of equipping its beneficiaries to acquire relevant skills for productive livelihoods. The vibrant nature of the Centre was also evident by the fact that the income that was generated from the activities was used to procure some tools for the Centre. Undoubtedly, such an educational initiative was bound to grapple with teething challenges and it was anticipated that such challenges would be quickly addressed for smooth progress of the Centre. Future studies into such challenges and their remedies are thus encouraged.

Keywords: Asante Bekwai; Arts and Crafts; mat weaving; pottery, curriculum, Achimota

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3178 ISSN (Online)2225-0964

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