By TOPE TEMPLER OLAIYA
As from next summer, Fordham University, United States, will start teaching Twi at the university's department of African and African-American Studies.
The motivation, according to the chairman of the department, Prof. Mark Naison, is as a result of the growing number of people who transact business in Bronx using Twi as the medium of communication. “It is amazing to see people communicating in Twi, not thousand, but tens of thousands; especially churches, African shops, African Restaurants and food joints.”
The private university is taking the lead in this area due to its location and will be the only university in New York to offer Twi. All is set for the Twi class to take-off during the summer section of 2010, with 40 students in class One
Mr. Kojo Ampah Sahara, a Ghanaian studying at the RoseHill campus of Fordham University, where the programme will be held and leader of the African Cultural Exchange, an umbrella organisation that promotes African culture and values, hinted that a seasoned Ghanaian professor based in Connecticut, Ben Hayford, would handle the course.
Twi, specifically Ashanti Twi, is a language spoken by about 10 million people in Ghana. It is one of the three mutually intelligible dialect of the Akan language; others being Akuapim Twi and Fante, which belong to the Kwa language family. Kwa means a group of African languages in the Niger-Congo group spoken from Cote D'Voire to Nigeria.
The university says it is proud to undertake this enterprise, as it will help teachers, social workers and others, who would be working in the Bronx communities, where Twi is spoken.
At LASU, history students graduates in style
WHILE the last is yet to be heard about the crisis pitching students and staff against the Vice Chancellor of Lagos State University (LASU), graduating students of History and International Studies treated themselves to an eventful and exciting passing-out ceremony with a series of activities, which included a novelty football match between the graduating males and females, love feast and testimony day, and a graduation party.
Opening the weeklong ceremony, president of the Students' Society for the Study of History and International Studies (SSOHIS), Awosoro Gbenga, said the outgoing students have a lot to cheer about. “We have every reason to thank God, because since our 100 Level, the department had never lost any student or lecturer.
“Moreso, the level of academic training has prepared us for future challenges, which must be frontally confronted.” He therefore enjoined the graduating students to be good ambassadors of the department and the institution.
However, for Elias Josephat Onyeama, chairman of the organising committee for the graduation ceremony, it was an evening to heave a big sigh of relief. He said, “Today, the 500 Level students of this department have come of age. We have bagged our degree in History and International Studies and we are now certified diplomats for Nigeria. It is not easy serving a group of people with diverse opinions and characters. For example, it was a big challenge getting approval for the Aso-ebi for the set, as it proved almost impossible to get a simple majority vote for particular attire that was finally chosen, but at the end, we have organised a befitting graduation ceremony to be remembered for a very long time.”
RSUST to re-open soon
By MAGNUS ABRAHAM-DUKUMA
STUDENTS of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology may return to campus for normal academic activities soon. This is coming on the heels of a meeting of members of the school's governing council.
The council met recently to review the remote and immediate causes of the crisis that led to the closure of the school, while fashioning possible solutions to the problems with the view of re-opening it for academic activities soon.
Arising from the meeting, which lasted for close to four hours, the chairman of the governing council, Retired Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte, said they were optimistic that within the shortest possible time, things would return to normalcy in the school. However, he could not guaranty when.
About three weeks ago, the school was turned into a war zone, when an armored tanker with scores of policemen invaded the campus, shooting sporadically, manhandling, and arresting students. Their efforts were geared towards quelling a peaceful protest of some students on campus. The students were calling for the resignation of their Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barineme Fakae.
They accused him of incessant hikes in fees, introduction of various scratch cards in a bid to inflict hardship on the students, poor handling of students' results, insensitivity to students' welfare, maladministration among other allegations. The students shut the three entrances to the institution.
In the bid to quell the protest, the police came to the campus. Innocent students who were in their hostel were brutalized and beaten with guns and machetes. Those who were arrested were later released.
Sequel to the crises, the administration ordered the evacuation of every student on campus, and for over three weeks the school has remained locked since October 29.
Zain Africa Challenge:Four Ghanaian universities to compete
FOUR universities have qualified to represent Ghana at the Zain Africa Challenge holding in Kampala, Uganda, next year. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Valley View University, University of Developmental Studies and University of Ghana, Legon, qualified for the championship after sailing through the national qualifying series held in Accra.
A statement signed by Ms. Carmen Bruce-Annan, corporate communications manager of Zain Ghana, said the Challenge programme was part of the company's corporate social responsibility towards promoting education in the Africa region.
The competition, she says, also seeks to develop the intellect of Africa's youth and highlight the excellent education opportunities that African universities offer to their citizens.
The 32 competing universities come from Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia with the ultimate prize of $50, 000 to the university, while each representative of the university receives $5, 000.
The quiz questions cover a wide range of topical areas including history, science, African culture, geography, literature, music and current events. This is the second time Ghana is participating in the programme.