The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has challenged stakeholders in the educational sector to make discipline the bedrock of the country’s educational reforms and the production of responsible leaders in future.
He said education was the pivot around which the country’s developmental agenda revolved, adding that without discipline, the fight for a better future for the country will be a fluke.
The Asantehene said this in an address read on his behalf by the Chief of Adanse-Dompoase, Okofo Sobin Kan, at the Diamond Jubilee celebration of the Osei Tutu Senior High School at Akropong in the Atwima Nwabiagya District of Ashanti Region last Saturday.
The 75th anniversary was on the theme: “75 years of quality boy child education: The role of the church, the royalty and the state.”
The event was used to honour founder members and other stakeholders who had contributed in diverse ways towards the development of the school.
Otumfuo was emphatic that skills, knowledge and discipline were key ingredients needed to attain holistic education.
He pledged the support of Manhyia (seat of Asanteman) towards the continuous improvement of the school.
Role of church and traditional authorities
A lecturer at the Faculty of Environmental Studies at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Dr Antwi Adjei, noted that for Ghana to have a strong educational base, the role of the church and traditional authorities should not be downplayed.
He said there was the need for a stronger collaboration between the state and faith-based organisations in the training of students who would be able to correct the wrongs in society.
Dr Adjei urged chiefs to vote a percentage of their royalty to support educational development and help brilliant needy students in their areas.
The Headmaster of the school, Mr Samuel Kwadwo Fordjour, said the major challenge confronting the school was accommodation for both staff and students.
He commended the staff for their contribution towards improving the school, in the face of lack of accommodation and basic amenities.
In spite of the numerous challenges confronting the school, it still boasts impressive results over the years, especially during the 2015 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
The school recorded 100 per cent in the exams. It included 513 students recording eight As.
At 75 years, one of the Royal Institutions in the Ashanti Region, Osei Tutu Senior High School, named after the founder of the Ashanti Kingdom, Otumfuo Osei Tutu I, is seen as an epitome of the rich culture and tradition of Asanteman.
Despite it being founded by the Methodist Church, Ghana, the school was named after Otumfuo Osei Tutu I for his role with the then Akroponghene to move the school from its original location, the bungalow at the Freeman College opposite the Wesley College, to Asante Akropong in 1948.
The school has a unique history, beginning as a boys’ boarding school through to a training college to a secondary institution.
It was founded in 1940 under its first headmaster, Rev. Arthur W. Banks, assisted by Messrs A. C. Denteh and Eric Awua with 13 students. The students included Mr Isaac Oguame, former solicitor and advisor to the Bank of Ghana and celebrated Black Stars midfielder, James Adjei. The school has had its fair share of presidential materials.
Former President, John Agyekum Kufuor, and his brother, Dr Addo Kufuor and the late Justice Amoah Sakyi, all passed through during the early stages of the school.
By November 1954, the school had been hit with an unfortunate incident which nearly marred its otherwise prestigious image. The school was temporarily closed down because parents were unable to meet an increase in school fees.
A year later, the school was reopened but with a higher status to operate a two-year Certificate B Training College with the late A. K. Folson as its first Ghanaian Principal.
It later changed from a two-year Certificate B to a four-year Certificate A institution.
In the 1972/73 academic year, when a number of training colleges in the country were converted into secondary schools, Osei Tutu Training College was also affected and had to be run as a dual institution until the training component was phased out.
Mr J. O. T. Ansah succeeded Rev. C. K. Yamoah as principal in September 22, 1966.
Like many secondary institutions, the school changed its identity from the Osei Tutu Secondary School to Osei Tutu Senior High School (SHS) in 1999.