How IPS Started
Institute of Professional Studies (IPS), then the only private business college in Ghana to have a special relationship with the University of Ghana, was the brainchild of Mr. Joseph Kwaku Opoku-Ampomah, then assistant business manager of the Daily Graphic.
Mr. Opoku-Ampomah began to plan his Institute, for he had learned through his own experiences of what he calls “the gap” in Ghana’s education system. There seemed, he says, to be lack of facilities for further study for students unable to qualify for sixth form and University, but who wish to continue their studies. He was so determined to help those students that he decided not to take a full time job until he had gotten his school well underway, for he thought that once he had a full time job he would be tempted to neglect his pet project.
Training for Accountants
In 1966 he applied for recognition from the NLC government and a year later received approval to go ahead. He then applied to the Association of Certified and Corporate Accountants (ACCA) (now the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants) in Britain and his became the only school in Ghana recognized to prepare students for their examination. Students were also prepared for the Institute of Cost Accountants examination and those of the Association of International Accountants and Chartered Institute of Secretaries. Rented property at Madina was first used and the present site obtained on long lease from La Mantse stool land in 1969. In 1972, permanent buildings made up of lecture halls and dormitories for 400 students were put up on a 23.18-acre site.
Professor Alex Kwapong, the then Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana gave the Institute valuable assistance. IPS reaps many advantages from its relationship with Legon, which includes use of the school of Business Administration’s Library, permission to buy books at cost price from the university’s bookshop, hire of University buses for study tours, and inter-institutional debates. Perhaps most important is the use of University staff as IPS tutors in their spare time. The library was not yet built although one of the lecture rooms was almost ready for use as a temporary library. The first few students took their ACCA exams in May 1968, and entrants have steadily increased with average pass rate of 80-90 per cent.
Students from Abroad
Not all students were Ghanaians – there were several from Nigeria, Togo and Dahomey and such is its confidence in the IPS that the Tema Development Corporation sent an employee there, the Broadcasting Corporation sent two, whilst the Ministry of Education granted one of its officers study leave to attend. When the first full dormitory block was completed, it was hoped there will be accommodation for 400 full time students.
Mr. Opoku-Ampomah’s other educational project was a direct offshoot of his institute. He decided to start a small secondary school to prepare early school leavers for his Legon courses; so when the first phase of the IPS buildings was completed and students had been accommodated, he began to use the rented property at Madina for pre-professional studies.
So far, the Institute has every ingredient for success – not the least in the dynamism and determination of its Director. It started with a governing body of four, two of whom were lecturers at Legon, and a tutorial staff of over 20. There were several full time clerks and a student’s officer.
Nana Opoku-Ampomah I sees education as a means to an end rather than an end in itself and a means of helping to develop his country.
HOW I LOST IPS
In 1974 my late uncle, Nana Akuoko Nimpa II who was the divisional chief of the Amoafo Traditional Area in Ashanti Ghana wanted to transfer the stool he occupied to me on grounds of old age. I asked him for time to think of his demand.
When his political opponent who wanted to be Amoafohene heard of my uncle’s demand, he got his friend, the late General Kutu Acheampong who had become the military Head of State of Ghana to take over IPS in order to impoverish me.
General Acheampong then appointed a management committee headed by the late Professor Kwame Agyei of school of Administration of University of Ghana to run my school.
In 1976 when my uncle’s political opponent heard that I had refused to be my uncle’s successor, he got the head of state to dissolve the management committee of IPS and returned the school to me.
In 1977 my late uncle informed me that the late Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, the Asantehene had threatened that if I refused to take my uncle’s
place, he the Otumfuo would take the Amoafo stool from my uncle’s family. I was compelled to accept the offer.
When the time came I accompanied my uncle to the late Otumfuo Opoku Ware II to confirm my acceptance of becoming Amoafohene. A few weeks later, when I went to IPS, Kutu Acheampong sent a truck full of armed police men and soldiers to drive me away from IPS, my brainchild.
That’s how I lost IPS.
When Ghana returned to constitutional rule, I sued the then constitutional head of state, the late Dr. Hilla Limann for compensation for my property at IPS.
While the case was pending before an Accra high court, the military government headed by Jerry John Rawlings overthrew the civilian government.
During that period there were abductions and murders of Judges in Ghana. Who then was I to insist on my right and what was due to me as a result of the military government’s takeover of my school?
He therefore accepted the token the government gave him as compensation on a take-it or leave-it basis.
He has so far received as compensation 100ghs, a bust at the school, a Gold Award from the Alumni Association, a lump sum of 10,000 Ghs and a monthly stipend of 3,000 Ghs from 2016, which was increased to 4,000 GHS in November 2019.