The Teacher’s Fund Hostel of the University of Ghana-Legon in Accra, was on Thursday out-doored with the new name, James Topp Nelson Yankah Hall.
The name is in honor of the late Mr James Topp Nelson Yankah, a renowned Ghanaian teacher unionist in the 1930s.
Mr Samuel Doe Alubia, Acting President of the Ghana National Association of Teachers(GNAT), said when GNAT begun the Teachers’ Fund (TF) about 15 years ago, many were skeptical about it.
“What we are witnessing today testifies that having good ideas, making the right consultations and persevering in spite of challenges, pays.”
He expressed the hope that the facility would be well maintained, adding “we hope to extend such facilities to the campuses of the University of Cape Coast and the University of Education, Winneba.”
Prof Ernest Aryettey, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana-Legon, praised the “foresight of the nation’s teachers, to set up a fund which led to the construction of this building”.
He said since the hostel begun operating in 2010, it had attracted a number of students.
Prof Aryettey said the key reason for the re-naming of the hostel was to integrate it into the main-steam halls of the university.
He said the management of the university had decided that it was important for students who were not living in the traditional halls, to be integrated into the typical “campus life-style”, in order to have a feel of what it really felt like to be in the university.
“I hope the re-naming of this hall would integrate students of the hall into the typical culture of the university. We as a University would fully lend our support to the Teachers Fund.”
In a speech read on his behalf by Mr George Achibra, a Board member of the Teachers’ Fund, Mr Samuel Ofori Adjei, Board Chairman of the Teachers Fund, recounted that when teachers were asked to contribute to the Fund in 1998, “it was naturally not a pleasurable experience”.
He said that price had however “brought about this significant return”.
Mr Adjei said the Board of Trustees of the Teachers Fund had been tasked with the responsibility to invest the monthly contributions of teachers in a well diversified portfolio to create wealth that would be distributed to members.
“This magnificent structure was built with the sweat of the teacher, to take advantage of the enabling environment created by the government. Today, we have the advantage of accommodating students who are the future leaders of our nation.”
Mr Adjei said the fund had a sizable number of investments in a number of reputable companies in the country.
“The Teachers Fund is named amongst the ten largest of the Ghana Stock Exchange listed securities.”
He expressed appreciation to the Regional and District GNAT officials for administering the Fund to teachers in the districts ‘ “as well as my colleague Trustees of the Teachers’ Fund”.
The 970 bed capacity hostel, hosts about 800 male and female students of the university.
Through the tireless efforts of the late J.T.N. Yankah, the Assisted Schools’ Teachers’ Union which had been formed in 1932, was formally inaugurated in 1933, with Mr Yankah as President, which ultimately led to the formation of the Gold Coast Teachers Union. GNA