St. Francis College of Education was the first Catholic Institution established in the Lower Volta Vicariate in 1908 by the German VSD Missionaries on a parcel of land donated by Bla, Kpeme, and Abansi. It was then called St. Augustine College.
In 1911 it was closed down and moved to Agbedrafor in Togo. It was brought back to Gbi- Bla in 1912 and closed down again because of the First World War (1914-1918). In 1929, the College was opened again (now under the SMA missionaries) at Gbi-Bla as a Rural Training Center which was transformed into a Training College in January, 1931 and officially opened by Bishop Augustine Herman, SMA with 18 students.
The Principal was Rev. Fr Joseph Gerald, SMA, (BA,H.Dip.Ed) who was ordained Titular Bishop of Ammaedara and Vicar Apostolic of the Lower Volta on 13th October, 1946 in the Cathedral of Cork, Ireland.
The history of St. Francis Training College continued to repeat itself when in 1934 the College was once again closed down and relocated to Amisano near Elmina. Under the direction of Bishop J. G. Holland, St. Francis Training College was reopened as a 2-year Certificate ‘B’ Teacher Training College on 14th February, 1947 at Gbi-Bla, its God-given place of birth not to be closed down again.
It was named St. Francis Training College with St. Francis Xavier as the Patron Saint.
The College is now under the Episcopal jurisdiction of Ho Diocese headed by His Lordship Most Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Kofi Fianu, SVD.
The Founding Fathers were Rev. Fr. Bucking, Rev. Fr. Feldman, and Most Rev. Fr. Joseph Gerald Holland.
The College was started at a place called ‘Kpodziga’ and the College was nicknamed ‘Gborto’ College, ‘Tsiveme’ College etc.
The 3 communities: Bla, Kpeme, and Abansi of the Gbi Traditional Area gave out the initial land of 63 acres. This was extended to 91 acres in 1975.
The College was established as an all-male College with an initial intake of 30 students. It became a co-educational institution in 1954 when 30 women were admitted.
The Catholic Church, the Community, and the College have co-existed in a friendly atmosphere over the years. The College assists the community in terms of making the College vehicles available to convey people to places when the need arises, and the church regularly visits the College on Patron Saint Day and Missions sending.
In year 2008, 38 publicly-owned Teacher Training Institutions (TTIs) that offered Certificate programs to prepare teachers for basic schools in Ghana, were elevated to tertiary status and re-designated as Colleges of Education (COEs) to offer tertiary programmes.
The Colleges of Education Act, Act 847 was passed by an Act of the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana and assented to by the President on June 27, 2012 to give legal backing to the new status of the institutions.
St. Francis Training College which was under the Ghana Education Service (GES) now became St. Francis College of Education.
The College has therefore been placed under the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), being the Government agency responsible for the regulation of tertiary education institutions in Ghana.
The College has had good academic records despite all odds. In the maiden Diploma in Basic Education results (2007), FRANCO topped all Colleges by placing first.
The products of the College can be found in all sectors of the Ghanaian and world economy despite the fact that the primary objective of the College is to train teachers. There are Politicians, Legal personnel, Civil servants, Professors, Lecturers, Bankers, Accountants, Public servants, private business men and women, and Security service personnel.