It’s been almost two years since Mrs Cynthia Osei-Poku became the Headmistress of Akosa M/A JHS located at North Suntreso in Kumasi, and since then, the school has undergone tremendous changes.
Under her watch, the school’s population has increased, while discipline, academic performance and school attendance have all improved.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic about her achievements, Mrs Osei-Poku stated that when she took over as headmistress, she first of all interacted with teachers in the school to get first-hand information about the school’s situation.
Having been assured of the support of the teaching staff, she said, she then started putting her plans into action.
She said she had the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) and the School Management Committee (SMC) immediately reorganised.
Mrs Osei-Poku said she also held a school performance meeting, which discussed the school’s performance in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) over the years; and instituted some changes in the study pattern of the students, leading to an upgrade in the results.
“Before I assumed office, the school scored 23 per cent in the 2014-2015 BECE, but its performance has since risen to 31 per cent,” she noted.
Mrs Osei-Poku observed that most of the students used to wear torn clothes to school, but now, with the support of the school’s PTA and the SMC, she has managed to change the situation.
‘“I am happy to say that the school was selected to represent the Bantama Circuit during the Independence Anniversary Celebration which took place at the Jubilee Park in Kumasi last year,” she mentioned.
According to her, she detected that on vacation and reopening days, the students did not report to school.
Under the circumstances, she said, she introduced an award scheme to reward students who attended classes regularly on those days by presenting them with biscuits, soft drinks, storybooks and copies of the Junior Graphic as incentives.
Mrs Osei-Poku said to ward off stray animals and vagrants from defecating in the classrooms, she had fixed in front of all classroom doors to prevent unauthorised entry.
She added that louvre blades fixed in the windows of the staff common room in replacement of the original wooden-framed windows.
Additionally, she mentioned, the floor of her office had now been tiled and modern furniture fixed as well.
Mrs Osei-Poku said following the approval of the school’s PTA, each student was asked to pay seven cedis to support efforts to develop the school. She said in view of the low levy that was charged, the school had to solicit further assistance from philanthropists.
She commended the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kessben Group of Companies, an old student of the school, Mr Kwabena Kesse, specially for his immense contributions to the development of the school.
Mrs Osei-Poku mentioned the uncooperative attitude of some parents towards the welfare of their children as a challenge she was facing.
She added that some of the students stayed with guardians and caretakers who failed to take good care of them, resulting in some students reporting to school without eating breakfast.
She has, therefore, urged parents and guardians whose children and wards are in the school to endeavour to take good care of them in order to enable them to learn and excel in their studies, since "the youth of today are the future leaders".