The Beginning Of The Whole Vision
- Club idea is conceived on UMaT campus.
- Club starts operating on its own custom made notice board.
National Registration And Campus Fila Platform
- Mother Organisation, The Telescope Journalistic Media Ghana, is conceived and born.
- Expansion to three other campuses KNUST, UCC & UG.
- The Campus Fila media platform is introduced, with the first version being a newspaper.
The Telescope Student Network Company
- The student network concept is restructured to create The Telescope Student Network Company (SNC).
- Entrepreneurship and Working Experience are introduced to address the issue of graduate unemployment and self-reliance.
- Campus Fila TV is introduced to augment the Campus Fila media platform.
- 1ST Inter-Chapter Congress is held on the campus of the University of Ghana, Legon Accra,
- A partnership with associates in the UK makes the organization international – operating from Ghana and UK. Thus, the national organization grows to become The Telescope Journalistic Media International (TTJMI).
- The Site Updater Programme (SUP) is introduced as an extension of the Writing training programme of TTCJN.
The Telescope Young Leaders of Africa Network (TTYLAN)
- TTYLAN is created after the United States of America organized a programme for young African leaders.
- The Telescope Writers World concept is introduced to help members of the SNC to be groomed in that art of writing.
- Operational Divisions (Student Network & Professional Network) are created in TTJMI.
The Telescope Campus Journalists Network (TTCJN)
- The birth of The Telescope Campus Journalists Network (TTCJN).
- Campus Fila Radio is added to the Campus Fila media platform.
Edu-Mentor Volunteerism Programme
Edu-Mentor Volunteerism Programme is introduced and initiated in five basic schools across Ghana.
The Telescope Training and Mentorship Academy & Junior Chapters
- The Telescope Training and Mentorship Academy (TMA) is born after a review of the training modules of TTCJN since its inception in 2005.
- The Entrepreneurship training module of TMA is upgraded to make it possible for the trainees to build real companies whilst still in school.
- Junior Chapters created after TTCJN expands to Senior High Schools.
This is only a brief history of the beginnings and early days of The Telescope International.
The Telescope organization went through a lot of stages before getting to the point where it was able to give birth to The Telescope Campus Journalists Network (TTCJN). Hence the whole history has been divided into eight main parts.
Operations & Activities History
The Telescope Journalistic Media International®, metamorphosed from a campus-based journalism club on the soils of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa in the Western Region of Ghana.
The seed ideology of the whole Organisation was that, the founder, Mr. Twumasi-Minkah David, who has a very great interest in poetry, thought it wise to form a poetry group on his campus, in his second year of school. He thus got in touch with five of his friends who also shared a common interest, in October, 2005. After a series of meetings and considerations, they realized that aside poetry, they all had an interest in journalism and wanted a platform where they could report on events and news happening on the UMaT campus. The idea of a campus journalism club was then born.
The group also realized that, they could even make their group bigger by inviting other students on the campus who also had a similar interest to join them. Hence, the group transformed into a club and was subsequently named as The Telescope Journalistic Club, UMaT.
The Club started its activities in December, 2005 on its own custom made notice board, and its first news and feature publication was a real success as scores of students trooped to the notice board to read what had been posted on it.
Due to its innovation and impartial objectivity in its reportage and articles, it drew both criticism and commendation from the general student populace and university authorities alike. Since it was new, it went through a lot of difficult times in trying to survive. This made most of its members to drop out; including some of the founding members. But in spite of the harsh situations, the Club still trudged on.
After being in operation for about two years, the founder, Mr. Twumasi-Minkah David, realized that, there was more that an asset like The Telescope Journalistic Club could be used to achieve. It was also realized that, there were other students on other campuses who were also interested in campus journalism, and as such, shared a common vision with it. Hence, the Club decided to go beyond the borders of UMaT.
The concept of a Journalistic Student Network was therefore created and a Virtual Office System was developed to ensure effective co-ordination amongst all the Chapters that would be created. Afterwards, a Five Year Growth and Development Plan was drawn for the Organisation and the expansion agenda was commenced.
The mission of The Telescope Student Network was set as:
Its vision however remained as it was from the beginning:
“To become a pacesetter in the area of student development, student media, leadership, entrepreneurship, and volunteerism”.
To give the Student Network a solid backing, the mother organisation, The Telescope Journalistic Media Ghana, was conceived and born. On Monday, 7th January, 2008, the mother organisation was registered at the national level at the Registrar General’s Department. Thus, a legal backing was achieved for the Organisation and its Student Network. Upon the accomplishment of this great feat of national recognition, the leadership of the Organisation was very confident that they were on the right track.
Expansion To Other Campuses
With the transformation from the club status to the Student Network status, the organisation initiated its expansion agenda to grow from the UMaT campus to other campuses in Ghana.
Because of its hard work and commitment to the vision, the Organisation is proud to say that, its efforts paid off in a space of just one month. The month of March 2008, saw the birth of three new Chapters into the Telescope family on the campuses of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST, Kumasi, the University of Cape Coast, UCC, Cape Coast and the University of Ghana, UG, Legon – Accra in that order. Thus, bringing the total number of Chapters to four. The Student Network was therefore born and fully functional.
Two years later, the Student Network had grown to cover the whole of southern Ghana across all the major tertiary institutions. It covered a total of fifteen campuses comprising of universities, polytechnics and professional institutions. As was to be expected, the number of new Chapters kept rising with each new academic year as new campuses embraced this laudable initiative.
To let students benefit more from joining the Student Network as well as to make it more relevant to the corporate world, the Student Network concept was further improved upon and Entrepreneurship and Working Experience were both introduced into the structure of the concept. Thus, in June 2010, the Organisation came up with an unprecedented concept of a Student Network Company.
The main objective of The Telescope Student Network Company (SNC) was
To address the issue of working experience which was a major contributing factor to graduate unemployment and also, to help students to be able to make some money whilst still in school.
All these were going to be made possible through the operations and activities of the organization.
With this new concept, the structure to the student network was modified to mimic that of a real media company. It now had directors, managers and staff – just as it is in a real company. Also, the training module was modified such that, members of the SNC were not only going to be developed in the media field, but also, they were going to learn some management, business, entrepreneurship and public relations skills. This was because, those skills are required in both media and non-media organisations.
The idea here was that, since a student spends about four (4) years at the tertiary level of education, if the person’s interest in the media field, entrepreneurship and management was developed all through his school years, then by the time that the person would be graduating, he would be having say, four (4) years of real working experience in the media field, entrepreneurship and management. These will be in addition to the academic certificate that the institution would be giving him/her. So upon graduating, the person would not have any problem with working experience; which is usually a major requirement during job search.
One way that the organization achieved this objective was that, through the SNC, students were offered the opportunity to be partially employed in the mother organization (TTJMI). By thus, they gained real working experience as well as business and management skills.
The restructuring of the student network into the SNC, paid off in just one year. On October 1st, 2011, a partnership deal was signed between The Telescope Journalistic Media and some associates in the United Kingdom. By thus, the Organisation became an international organization, operating from Ghana and UK. Hence, the organization became known as The Telescope Journalistic Media International (TTJMI).
With this new growth, the second semester of the 2011/2012 academic year (January – April 2012), saw some improvements in the recruitment strategies for new members into The Telescope SNC. More campuses were brought into the fold and the member campuses increased from fifteen (15) to twenty (20).
After going international in October 2011, TTJMI had naturally grown in strength and with this new growth, more potential was seen in the organization. Because of that, its mission and vision were further broadened to add more value to its members.
It became apparent that, the SNC was really enhancing the self-confidence and capabilities of its members and after school, these highly competent young leaders still had the potential to do something great for their country. However, the organization had not yet created a platform for graduates. TTJMI therefore decided to expand its focus to include youth and leadership development, so as to give graduates and professionals an opportunity to do something to help the African continent. With that broadened perspective, came another wonderful opportunity.
In December 2013, the United States of America organized a programme for young African leaders known as Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Mr. Twumasi-Minkah David applied to participate in the programme but unfortunately, he was not selected. So were many other African youth who also applied from different African countries.
TTJMI saw potential in most of the unsuccessful applicants and decided to bring them together to form a new Division in TTJMI, in addition to the SNC. The new Division that was created as a result of this initiative, was The Telescope Young Leaders of Africa Network (TTYLAN).
The mission of TTYLAN was:
“To groom the young leaders of Africa to be able to identify most of the pertinent problems of Africa, and to network to address them”.
The vision was:
“To see an Africa that was economically empowered, democratically governed, technologically advanced and a place that was free from poverty, disease, starvation and all the other ills that currently bedevil our continent”.
So laudable was the initiative that, as soon as it was launched, it received support from over twenty different African countries (both Anglophone and Francophone).
Though membership in TTYLAN was from both Anglophone and Francophone countries, there was no language barrier in the management of the TTYLAN Division as TTJMI officials were able to communicate in both English and French.
The current membership strength of TTYLAN can be found on our group page on facebook:
Also, some of the photos of a previous election we had in the various member countries can be found on the facebook fan page of TTYLAN:
The creation of TTYLAN and the SNC, were both in line with the overall mission and vision of TTJMI. Hence, each of the two networks became a Division of TTJMI. In other words, to achieve its objectives, the organization creates networks for each specific aspect of its vision and each of the networks becomes a Division of TTJMI. So with the introduction of TTYLAN, TTJMI had two Divisions; a professional network and a student network.
The SNC’s membership was made up of students from different academic backgrounds who were interested in the media field, working experience and entrepreneurship. Hence, the SNC became the student network of TTJMI, and its first Division.
TTYLAN’s membership on the other hand, was basically made up of doctors, lawyers, economists, entrepreneurs, engineers and other professionals. So it became the professional network of TTJMI and with that, the second Division of TTJMI after the SNC.
In January 2015, it became necessary to once again modify the structure of the student network for it to be more in line with its mission and vision. The student network was restructured again and its name was changed from The Telescope Student Network Company (SNC), to The Telescope Campus Journalists Network (TTCJN).
Though the new name seems to connote more of a media posture, the focus areas of TTCJN remained as before: Journalism, Entrepreneurship, Writing and Volunteerism and the associated training programmes were:
In addition to the training programmes TTCJN had three Volunteerism Programmes: Edu-Mentor, Environment & Health.
TTYLAN is like the big brother of TTCJN and it had membership from several African countries – both Anglophone and Francophone countries. So naturally, TTCJN was to follow suit eventually. The mission of TTCJN is to prepare students for life after school and the growth vision is to grow to cover the entire African continent.
Hence, in August 2019, the organization decided to expand TTCJN to other African countries as well. The first country to be expanded to was Nigeria and other African countries followed later.
TTCJN started from one campus in Ghana and has now grown to cover all the major tertiary institution campuses in the country and has now even expanded to other African countries as well. The ambition is to expand it to all the tertiary institutions (Universities, Polytechnics and Training Colleges) in Africa and any other country that TTJMI will expand to.
In terms of impact and influence, the organization hopes to extend the activities of TTCJN to the second and first cycles of education in each of its member countries. Ie: its vision is to be established at the tertiary, secondary, primary as well as the kindergarten levels of education in each of those countries.
In 2017, after assessing the training modules of TTCJN since its inception in 2005, it became necessary that for it to achieve more of the intended objectives, there was the need to once again modify the training programmes and protocols. In that regard, a new Division of the organization was created to solely cater for the training needs of TTCJN as well as the mother organization.
The Telescope Training and Mentorship Academy (TMA) was thus born in September, 2017. Training curricular were developed for our four main focus areas: Journalism, Writing, Entrepreneurship & NGO Work. A virtual training system was developed to make it possible for students to be trained from any part of the world and this was enhanced by an eCampus app that trainees could download and install on their phones.
In 2008, the organization’s quest to have a platform for its members to practice their writing skills, build a portfolio and also gain working experience in journalism, caused it to introduce and launch the Campus Fila media platform, with the first version being a newspaper.
In 2010, as the organization grew in its vision, it introduced a TV version of the platform. Thus, the Campus Fila media platform had a newspaper and TV version by then. In March 2012, the organization auditioned another batch of TV production crew and presenters. With that, it was able to increase the number of Campus Fila TV productions to eleven (11) productions by the end of the semester.
In 2015, another milestone was achieved with respect to the Campus Fila media platform. The Campus Fila Radio was introduced to allow the journalism trainees to have some practicals and experience in radio production.
In 2016, work started on a website for Campus Fila and in 2017, Campus Fila TV was redesigned and restructured with a new set. This increased its quality and programming.
In 2016, with the backing of the Ghana Education Service, we introduced our nationwide volunteerism programme known as the Edu-Mentor Volunteerism Programme. This programme was meant to instill a sense of selflessness and patriotism in all our members and to also make them willing to help the less privileged in society. We initiated the programme in five basic schools nationwide across Ghana.
- Pisie Basic School,
- Kparisaga Basic School and
- Danko Islamic Basic, all in Wa, Upper West Region.
- Abokobi Presby 1 Basic School.
- Imam-Khomeini Islamic Basic School.
At the end of that semester, we delivered over 28 hours of tuition and impacted the lives of 448 pupils out of a total student population of 499 (89.78%) at the Abokobi Presby ‘1’ Basic School and at the Imam Khomeini Islamic Basic School in Cape Coast too, we delivered over 68 hours of tuition and were able to impact the lives of about 241 pupils. Also, at the three schools in the Upper west region, we delivered over 85 hours of tuition and were able to impact the lives of about 600 pupils.
A report of the programme was presented to the headquarters of the Ghana Education Service (GES) as well as the Ministry of Education. The municipal GES offices which oversee the schools also received reports of our operations in the respective schools they oversee.
From the beginning of the establishment of TTCJN, the vision was to grow the concept for it to cover all levels of education. Hence, in September 2017, as part of its growth plan, the organization decided to expand TTCJN to the Senior High Schools in Ghana. Five new Junior Chapters were started in the northern part of Ghana.
- Pong-Tamale Senior High School (Pongtass),
- Northern School of Business (Nobisco) and
- Tamale Islamic Science Senior High School (TISSEC).
- Wa Senior High Technical School (Wa Sec. Tech.) and
- Tupaso Senior High School.
All five new Junior Chapters were approved by their school authorities and we started operations and activities with them. To help them improve upon their English grammar, we conducted an Aptitude Test for all of them.
As an organization, with members located at different parts of the world, our interactions are mostly virtual; though our operations and activities are physical. That notwithstanding, during the vacations, we have congress to interact, socialize, share ideas and have fun.
In June 2010, Entrepreneurship and Working Experience were both introduced into the structure of TTCJN. This was to address the issue of working experience which was a major contributing factor to graduate unemployment and also, to help students to be able to make some money whilst still in school. In short, it was meant to teach trainees about how to be independent and self-sufficient, and it was going to be made possible through our operations and activities.
In that regard, the Site Updater Programme (SUP) was introduced in September 2011, as an extension of the Writing Training Programme of TTCJN. Through the SUP, Telescopes (trainees) are trained to be content writers after which the organization sourced for article writing contracts for them to earn some income through their writing skills. Also, they earned some income through the sale of the Campus Fila newspaper.
Again, in 2017 the Entrepreneurship Training Module of TMA was upgraded to make it possible for Telescopes to build real companies whilst still in school. So even before graduating, a Telescope could become a CEO of his/her own company.
As part of its intention to help its Telescopes (trainees) to effectively develop their writing talents, The Telescope International introduced yet another initiative to develop the talents of students who wanted to become professional writers.
On 22nd August, 2013, the organization introduced The Telescope Writers World (TTWW) concept through which members of TTCJN who were good at writing would be groomed in the art of writing fiction, adventure, comedy, romance and other story genres.
As they were being trained, platforms were created for them to publish their works so as to gain popularity. For instance, the first platform that was created for such a purpose was The Telescope Writers World page on facebook.