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80 years of quality education: Aggrey Memorial AME Zion SHS story

  28 Février      57        Innovation (2067),


Cape Coast, Feb. 28, GNA – Come Saturday, March 07, 2020, the Aggrey Memorial AME Zion Senior High School (SHS), in Cape Coast, would mark its 80th anniversary, to take stock of its achievements and plan how to sustain the school on the path of continued growth.
Preparations towards the event, have been elaborate and that should not be surprising to anybody.
Certainly, 80 years in the life of an educational institution is worth celebrating – showcase and take pride its achievements, especially when many of its products are found in all critical sectors of the economy, playing vital roles to bring socio-economic development to the country and beyond.
The theme for the anniversary, which is expected to bring together a large crowd of people from all walks of life, is “80 Years of Co-Education: Achievement, Challenges and the Way-forward”.
President Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo Addo is likely to grace the occasion as the Guest of Honour, as well as other prominent personalities including the Central Regional Minister, Mr. Kwamena Duncan.
The Guest Speaker would be Professor Joseph Ghartey-Ampiah, Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) with the Right Reverend Dr. Hilliard Dela Dogbe, Presiding Bishop of the Zion Church, as the Chairman.
The anniversary is being sponsored by the Aggrey Memorial Old Student Association (AMOSA) which as part of preparation had given the school a facelift – painted and carried other renovation works. They have also provided their alma mater with a mechanized water system.
The programme for the celebration, started with a fund-raising dinner, in Accra, in December, last year, and this was followed by series of activities including debate, general quiz, Science and Math quiz competitions and musical festival.
The school has also organised health screening and this was done together with the Moree Health Centre and donated working tools, detergents and other items to the health facility.
There is going to be a sport festival where students, teaching and non-teaching staff would engage in various sporting disciplines including football matches with other sister Senior High Schools in Cape Coast.
The Aggrey Memorial AME Zion SHS was founded by A.W. E. Appiah on the 22nd of January, 1940 with six pioneer students, all of them boys.
Named after Dr. Kwegyri Aggrey, the Founder’s vision was to perpetuate the memory of Dr. Kwekyir Aggrey in an institution that offered equal educational opportunities for both boys and girls.
Thus, the school is a living tribute to this great and illustrious son of Africa, who coined the great maxim « If you educate a boy you educate an individual, but if you educate a girl you educate a nation ».
In 1947, the AME Zion Church took over the administration of the school as a result of an agreement between the Board of Trustees known as the Aggrey Society and the AME Zion Mission. After operating 18 years on a temporary premises, it finally moved to its present location at Brafoyaw in 1958. The student population has now grown to about 2,917 made up of 1,317 boys and 1,398 girls.
The school currently offers six academic programmes – General Arts, General Science, Agricultural Science, Visual Arts, Home Economics and Business.
Its vision is to become an excellent institution, providing holistic training through academic, moral and biblical education to all. The school has lived and continues to live by its motto “Semper Optimo Nitere”, a Latin phrase translated « Always Aim High”.
By dint of hard work and determination, Aggrey Memorial has chalked a lot of successes – producing the best Agricultural Science Student, in 1997, culminating in the West Africa Examinations Council honouring the School for academic excellence.
Again, the SHS designed a project to assemble and fly light aeroplanes in the country in 2010. The project, the first of its kind by a Senior High School in Ghana, was in collaboration with the Franklyn College in the United Kingdom and the British Model Flying Association (BMFA).
The school has also produced students, who have distinguished themselves in their respective professional areas within and outside Ghana.
Among them are Mr. Roland Affail Monney, current President of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA). T.D. Brodie-Mends, former Member of Parliament (MP) for Cape Coast and a Minister of State in the Busia administration, Mr. Ken Kanda, former Ghana’s Representative to the United Nations (UN), Dr. Rose Mensah-Kutin, Gender Advocate and a Journalist.
Others are Mustapha Essuman, a professional footballer, Yvonne Nelson, Actress, Mr. George Brigars Williams, also an Actor, and Dorcas Opoku Dakwa, known in showbiz as Abrewa Nana, a musician.
The school, since its inception has had seven male Headmasters. They are the Rev. Dr. A.W.E Appiah, (1940- 1952), Mr Emmanuel Godwyll Biney (1952-1979), Mr Pascal Kodwo Dadzie Godwyll (1973-1986), Mr Clement Bernasco Pobee (1986-1998), Mr Appiah Danquah (1998-2009), Mr A.A Amoantwi (2009- 2013), Rev.Dr Franklin Boadu (2014-2019).
The current and the school’s first female Headmistress, Ms. Kate Annan Wilberforce, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that equal education for boys and girls had propelled Ghana to higher heights and Aggrey Memorial had contributed no less to that.
She lauded the contribution of the old students – AMOSA and indicated that the government alone could not shoulder all the challenges facing the school and called fdor all stakeholders, including the Parent- Teacher Association (PTA) to continue to give strong support to the school to enable it to achieve more academic laurels.
The school, she said, had been scoring excellent passes in the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) but stressed that despite its success story it had some pressing needs, which needed to be tackled with utmost urgency.
Topping the list of needs is teachers’ accommodation. According to the Headmistress, Aggrey Memorial was the only school in Cape Coast which has no teachers’ flats, making monitoring and mentoring of students very difficult.
She is therefore appealing for the construction of accommodation for teachers to facilitate effective mentoring and monitoring of students.
Ms. Annan Wilberforce, additionally, wants the completion of a girls’ dormitory which is about 80 percent complete to ease congestion at the dormitories.

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