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Wesley College of Education, Kumasi was established by the Methodist Church, when in 1918 the Synod of the Gold Coast Methodist Church decided to relocate the training of the Church’s workers from Cape Coast and Fourah Bay to the Kemp buildings in Aburi in the Eastern Region of Ghana. At the Kemp buildings the church started the training of Ministers and teacher-catechists under the tutelage of Rev. S. J. Gibson. In 1921, Rev. C. W. Armstrong took over from Rev. Gibson.
In 1922 the full fledged institution was named WESLEY COLLEGE and the Rev. C. W. Armstrong became the first Principal with Mr. L. A. Greaves as the first Vice-Principal. As the Methodist Church rapidly expanded across the Akan and Ga speaking circuits of the church, there was need to establish a training college in north of the country to train more teachers, ministers and catechists. The Chairman of the Gold Coast District of the Methodist Church Rev. Harry Webster negotiated with the Government at the time, for land to put up the new college. However, it was the Tafohene at the time Nana Dabanka and his elders who gave the parcel of land on which the college stands at the moment, which was then a dense forest, to the Methodist Church for the establishment of the new college.
The draft agreement for a 999 years lease of a 104-acre plot of land was signed between the Tafohene Nana Dabanka and the Gold Coast Methodist Church on the 8th April 1922. On 20th November 1922 the foundation stone for the Main block was laid by His Excellency the Governor of the Gold Coast Brigadier Sir Gordon Guggisburg KC., MC, DSO.
The Main block was built in two by Messrs Schilling and Turner Company. To put up the Main block each member of the Gold Coast Methodist Church contributed five shillings while the Methodist Church in England contributed handsomely. Two prominent and generous donors who immensely supported the construction of the main block need to be mentioned here. They were Mr. Knight, a businessman and Mayor of Newark, United Kingdom and Mr. Brew, a Methodist businessman from Cape Coast, Ghana.
When the main block was completed the college in Aburi was transferred to Kumasi. On Monday 3rd March, 1924, Wesley College was officially opened in Kumasi. Thus, Wesley College, Kumasi became the first higher institution to be established in the Northern sector of the Gold Coast. The total number of students who came into residence on the 5th March 1924 was 74, consisting of 7 candidates for ministerial training, 48 student teachers and 19 student catechists. Out of the 74 students, 26 had been in training at Aburi institution during the previous years. Members of Staff were Rev. C. W. Armstrong, Principal, Mr. L. B. Greaves, Vice-Principal and Rev. Francis Chapman F. Grant, who 1961 became the first President of the Conference of the Methodist Church Ghana.
In 1930, the first batch of female students was admitted to be trained as teachers. These women were housed at Mmofraturo. Enrollment at the time stood at 135. The present dormitory blocks were completed in 1949 and in early 1950 the women joined the men in the college compound from Mmofraturo.
The courses offered in the College have gone through upgrading from 2-year Cert ‘B’; 4-year Cert ‘A’; 2-year Post-Secondary Cert ‘A; 3-year Post-Secondary Cert ‘A’; and now Diploma in Basic Education (DBE)by the passage of a Parliamentary Bill, Education Act 778 on 6th January 2008.
Currently, Wesley College of Education offers special programmes at the Diploma in Basic Education level. These are Science, Mathematics and French.
As a result of training programmes of the College, she has produced many sports personalities, drama and theatre personalities and music enthusiasts. For example, the Director of Sports of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Mr. Joseph Yaw Adu is a product of Wesley College.
Principals of Wesley College From 1922
1922 -1930 Rev. C. W. Armstrong
1930 – 1934 Rev. G. Simon
1934 – 1939 Rev. Beetham
1940 – 1951 Rev. Arthur Banks
1952 – 1963 Samuel Hanson Amissah
1963 – 1985 Rt. Rev. Dr. Ebenezer H. Brew-Riverson
1985 – 1993 Rev. Kofi Amponsah
1993 – 2003 Rev. W. H. Y. Ametepe
2003 – 2010 Badu-Fordjour Anyan
2010 – Date Joseph Eshun-Famiyeh
Prominent Personalities of Wesley College
The College’s past students have contributed immensely to the development of Ghana in all spheres of life and have been a light to the rank and file of all Ghanaians from the very beginning when ministers, catechists and teachers were trained together. It has been refreshing comment that many students of Wesley College have gone on to higher placers of learning and other professions. They have become lecturers and professors in universities, lawyers and judges, engineers, medical practitioners, civil and public servants, heads of departments, ministers, heads of Methodist Church, Ghana, farmers, traders, businessmen and women, politicians, ambassadors, cosmeticians, caterers broadcasters etc. etc.
The endless chain of personalities includes late Dr. K. A. Busia, the first Prime Minister of the second republic of Ghana, Dr. F.L. Bartels, the first African headmaster of Mfantsipim School and later head of the African desk at UNESCO, Paris, Mr. S. H. Amissah, first Ghanaian Principal of Wesley College, and former secretary of the All African Conference of Churches and first Vice President of the Methodist Conference, Ghana, Rt. Rev. Dr. E. H. Brew Riverson, second Ghanaian Principal of the College, former Deputy Director-General, GES, and Secretary of Methodist Conference, Ghana, Professor Cyril Edwin Fiscan, Dr. Samuel Gyasi Nimako, the first headmaster of Labone Secondary School, Accra and the first New Juaben and Effiduase member of Parliament and Ambassador, late Mr. Kwabena Agyapong – high court judge, Mr. K. Sackey, former head of the civil service of Ghana, Mrs Eunice Anarfo Williams, the first African woman to hold the post of the deputy government chief whip, Mr.J. Kwesi Lamptey, Defence minister during the second republic of Ghana, Bishop Yinkah Safo, Anglican Bishop of Kumasi Rt. Rev. Dr. Yaw Frimpong Manso former Moderator, Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Mr. Benjamin Antobam Wilberforce, former head of the public service commission, Ghana, Most Rev. T.W. Koomson, second president of the Methodist Conference, Ghana, Most Rev. C. K. Yamoah, third president of the Methodist Conference, Ghana, Most Rev. C. Awotwi-Pratt, fourth president of the Methodist Conference, Ghana, Most Rev. E. S. Essamoah, fifth president of the Methodist Conference, Ghana, Most Rev. J.S.A. Stevens, the sixth president of the Methodist Conference, Ghana. Rt. Rev. Dr. Kweku Asamoah Okyere, Administrative Bishop, Methodist Church Ghana, Mrs. Doris Amoyaw, Lay Chairman, Kumasi Diocese of the Methodist Church Ghana and Mr. Adjin Tetteh, founder of the Dansoman Keep-fit Club .
Others are, Dr. Robert Dodoo, former head of the civil service Ghana, Dr. Emmanuel K. Marfo, former Director of Ghana Standards Board, Dr Alex Dadey former headmaster of Okuapeman and Achimota schools, MR. J. Y. A. Kwofie, former Inspector-General of Police, Dr. E. C. Djamson, former Ghana’s ambassador extra-ordinary and plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Dr. I K. Chinebuah former headmaster, Achimota School and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ghana, Prof. N. K. Pecku, formerly Principal of the University of Education, Winneba.
The list includes Prof. Mohammed Ben Abdallah, former PNDC Secretary for Education and Culture and Lecturer, University of Ghana, Legon, Mr. S. K. Obeng, former Director-General, GES, Mr. Alex Tettey Enyo, former Acting Director-General of the GES, and formal Minister of Education, Mrs Grace Aboagye Mensah, Senior Assistant Registrar UG, Ghana, Mr. E C. Anson-Yevu, Messrs David Ghartey Tagoe, Jacob Banful, Joe Lartey, William D. Opare all formerly of GBC, Justice K. Ebiasah, Justice Moses Abekah, Justice Mensa Boison of the Ghana Judicial Service, Mrs. S. N. Dowuona Hammond, Mr. E. K. Mensah and the late Mr. E. A. Osew, legal practitioners, Mr. E.K. Narter – Olaga, legal practitioner and former MP in the second Republic, Hon. M. A. Seidu, former MP for Wa, Mr. J. K. Y. Oduro D.C.E. of Offinso, Mr. E. Afoakwa Sekyere retired headmaster of Prempeh College, Nana Offe Akwasi Okogyeasuo II Omanhene of Kokofu Traditional Area, Nana Aboagye Agyei, Ejisuhene of Ashanti, Nana Osei Wusu Banahene II Asantehene’s Nkosuohene, the Queen mother of Juansa, Very Rev. S.A. Amankwaah, Regional Director of Education, Brong Ahafo, Mr. Joseph Eshun-Famiyeh, principal, Wesley College of Education, Kumasi and many more.