DR ERASMUS NORVIEWU-MORTTY
WINNER OF THE ECU INTERNATIONAL ALUMNI AWARD
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (EDUCATION), 2012
Dr Erasmus Norviewu-Mortty is an exemplar of the type of highly-qualified, globally-concerned scholar, practitioner and citizen that Edith Cowan University produces – and a worthy recipient of the inaugural ECU International Alumni Award.
Throughout his career, Dr Norviewu-Mortty has made significant contributions to education, on local, national and international levels.
Awarded an ECU International Scholarship to undertake his PhD in Perth, Dr Norviewu-Mortty used his doctoral studies to address the issues facing the inconsistent standards of education in his home country of Ghana.
His doctoral thesis, entitled Principals’ strategies for improving the academic achievement of students of disadvantaged rural junior high schools in Ghana, revealed how the role of the school principal in rural schools is pivotal to provide academic leadership, maintain school standards, and harness the support and resources of the local community. It also showed that there is a dearth of trained teachers available for teaching in these disadvantaged communities.
To date, Dr Norviewu-Mortty’s thesis has been accessed and downloaded by the international academic community more than 50,000 times. This staggering figure is a measure of the global impact of Dr Norviewu-Mortty’s research, and indicates that the knowledge generated by this particular ECU alumnus has been successfully disseminated to a broad international audience of scholars.
Moreover, Dr Norviewu-Mortty deserves recognition for not only developing a theoretical pedagogical framework in his research, but for seeking to apply his knowledge to solve real-world problems – a key attribute ECU seeks to instill in its graduates.
Dr Norviewu-Mortty returned to his homeland and applied his expertise to setting up a teacher training school in the community of Yendi, in the northern region of Ghana. He achieved this with the strong support of the Catholic Diocese of Yendi, a collaboration he acknowledged by naming the College after the current Bishop of the Diocese, the Most Reverend Vincent Sowah Boi-Nai.
“The St Vincent College of Education is the first institution of its kind in the region which is wholly dedicated to training teachers who are willing and ready to live and teach in disadvantaged rural communities,” says Dr Norviewu-Mortty.
The College is the culmination of years of planning and development, during which Dr Norviewu-Mortty sought philanthropic support, and managed significant challenges, including access to government funds and disputes with religious factions in the community.
Since opening its doors in late 2016, the College has held two intakes of students, reaching an impressive cohort of over 300 students. These students are drawn from throughout Ghana, with a number of the 138 newly admitted 2018-2019 Bachelor of Education students hailing from the southern Ghana cities of Kumasi, Sunyani, Techiman, Tema, Accra and Takoradi. Once these newly-qualified teachers begin graduating in 2020, schools across Ghana and neighbouring areas will benefit from these highly trained educators.
Dr Norviewu-Mortty’s dedication to his work and extraordinary leadership skills was apparent from his days at ECU.
He voluntarily gave his time as President of the ECU International Students Council and as the International Students’ representative on the ECU Student Guild Senate. He was a member of the three-Western Australia tertiary student delegation to the 2009 Australian Government Roundtable Conference on International Students in Canberra, contributing directly to the final communiqué.
He was also appointed to the role of SOAR Ambassador within ECU’s Graduate Research School during his time as a PhD candidate. SOAR Ambassadors are among the most skilled research candidates in the university, and in this role Dr Norviewu-Mortty provided one-on-one mentoring and group support to fellow research students at the university.
Upon his graduation in 2012, Dr Norviewu-Mortty’s exemplary research was recognised by ECU when he was awarded the Lawrence McGrath Prize for outstanding scholarship.
As Founder and Principal of St Vincent College of Education in Ghana, Dr Norviewu-Morttyhas used the knowledge he gained at ECU to contribute back to his home country– and, more broadly, to global knowledge in his area of expertise.
“While one educator can cause a trickle of change in a community, an entire college of educators can cause a cascade of new beginnings – and this is what Dr Norviewu-Mortty has achieved,” says Associate Professor Glenda Campbell-Evans of ECU’s School of Education, who nominated Dr Norviewu-Mortty for the ECU International Alumni Award.
“The flow-on impact of Dr Norviewu-Mortty’s work is that, in training these hundreds of teachers, each will go on to have a significant impact on the lives of their future students, their families and their communities, creating a truly exponential impact and legacy.”