75 years  

The Colonial Dept 1927-1953

Inaugural Lectures
Academic Resources
The Present
Photo Gallery
About this cd/links

Eric Earle : student 1951/2, Institute of Education Administrative staff 1964-1990 and Institute of Education Secretary 1974 - 1988:

"Eric reflects on the changes within the British Empire and anticipation of this in the change of the department’s name to Education in Tropical Areas. He also recalls the fate of some of the students on his course.

Eric Cunningham and I were in the last of the groups of appointed by the Colonial Office to be trained by the Department and I was the last one to be recruited for the Gold Coast. At the time some of us were a bit worried about length of career and …..people in the Colonial Office and indeed the Governor of the Gold Coast said “No need to worry old boy, it is all going a bit faster than we thought, but will see you out, 30 years, end of the century!”  This obviously proved to be an underestimation of the situation.  As students we were beginning to be aware of changes. One of our lecturers, R E Wraith , talked to us about the Accra riots of 1948 and their significance…. for what became the rapid collapse of colonial empire. These changes were reflected in the change of name from the Colonial Department to Education in Tropical Areas, which is recorded in Willis Dixon’s history of the Institute (link). Dixon (1952:2) wrote that, “The word colonial was no longer appropriate…and had undesirable undertones. After much searching the title Education in Tropical Areas was found”.

Sadly two of our number fell by the wayside, in that an unheralded thing happened, unprecedented. They failed the PGCE! This greatly displeased John Wilson who wondered how on earth  this could happen. Anyway, the Gold Coast Government said. “Well, if they failed we don’t want them!”.  I have to say Nigeria took them, where they both had distinguished careers".

Back to Recollections 1927-1952

Back to Recollections overview

Home | Histories | Recollections | Inaugural Lectures | Academic Resources | The Present | Photo Gallery | About this cd/links

 Copyright details. Help using the CD.

Compiled and edited by Clare Bentall and Angela Little. First issued Spring 2005.