The Department of English, University of Cape Coast (UCC), has honoured Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang and two other distinguished scholars for their dedication and commitment to the teaching, research and dissemination of knowledge in language and literary studies.
The two other honourees were Prof. Lawrence K. Owusu-Ansah and Prof. Kwadwo Opoku-Agyemang.
The university held a conference at the Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang Auditorium on the theme: ‘Language and Literature: Tradition and Transformation’ to also recognise their exemplary leadership and unbridled contributions to the department, Faculty of Arts, and the College of Humanities and Legal Studies.
The first female Vice-Chancellor of the institution and former Minister of Education, in her remarks, expressed gratitude to the department for the honour.
She recounted how her students were afraid to choose her course because she was not magnanimous with marks, saying she wanted ‘the best in her students to come out’.
“As I kept telling them at the end of the class, if you can make an ‘A’, I think you should make it. You shouldn’t be happy with the ‘B+’. And it is those students whom I thought were just happy with the middle grades that were always my target. If students are not stretching themselves as much as I know they are capable of, that’s where sometimes the disagreement comes in,” she explained.
The former VC also took the opportunity to pay profound tribute to Prof. Atta Britwum for his mentorship when she started her career. Adding that if there is ever anything she had written – whether it is an article, a review, or a book – he has always been part of this journey.
She urged the faculty on the need to exercise restraints in helping to unearth the potential, and the needs of students.
On his part, Prof. Lawrence Owusu Ansah indicated that he had not regretted joining the University of Cape Coast because it has helped him to put his talents to good use. He thanked the department for the recognition and promised to continue to impact positively the younger generation.
Prof. Owusu Ansah, who served the University for 38 years, added that education was still the best legacy both parents and teachers could help imbibe in the Ghanaian child, particularly, in sharpening their skills and analytical abilities.
Taking his turn, Prof. Kwadwo Opoku-Agyemang, in a brief remark, expressed gratitude to the Department of English for the honour.
Known for being the first to pilot the Communication Skills Course at UCC, Prof. Opoku-Agyemang used the occasion to eulogise Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang for her motherly care toward her children, describing her as ‘an ideal woman’.
The Provost of the College of Humanities and Legal Studies, Professor Kwame Osei Kwarteng, who chaired the occasion, hailed the honourees for their outstanding contributions to the department.
He underlined the need for teachers to be rewarded on earth and not in heaven, while thanking the department for the honour done to the three revered scholars.
He entreated the faculty to treat students with love and care, saying the university exists because of the students.