The Odorgonno Senior High School at Awoshie in Accra has celebrated its 75th anniversary, with a call on students to cultivate the habit of reading and research to attain academic excellence.
The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, who made the call in a speech read on his behalf by his deputy, Mr Isaac Vanderpuiye, at a ceremony at the school's premises on Saturday, urged students to cultivate the habit of reading to enrich their knowledge and broaden their horizon.
''A student who is a good reader is more likely to do well in school and pass examinations than a student who is a weak reader'' he added.
The celebration, which also coincided with the school’s Annual Speech and Prize-giving Day, was on the theme “The Role of Reading and Research in Attaining Academic Excellence".
The school which was established on the top of a hill at Adabraka, near the Odaw River in Accra, as a boys school by Rev Leigh (a teacher) and his close associates, moved to its present location in 1990 as a mixed school, and gained a model school status in 2008.
It now has a student population of 2,409 and a staff of 175, and it is the only government senior high school in the Ga Central municipality.
Nii Afotey Agbo said researchers in education had found that there was a strong correlation between reading and academic success, pointing out that though radio, video, television, internet and other audio visuals played their role in communication and education, they were not a substitute for books, and urged students not to solely concentrate on the use of those gadgets.
He noted that examination malpractices continued to affect some students in the country leading to the total cancellation of their results by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), and called for a collective effort by all stakeholders to reverse the trend.
He said the government had over the years made efforts to improve and provide school infrastructure to many schools across the country because of the realisation that decent classrooms, accommodation, learning materials and well motivated and disciplined teachers were needed for the facilitation of education.
He appealed to all old students association of the school and the Ga Central Municipal Assembly to support the school by initiating projects such as the construction of additional classrooms and science blocks to improve teaching and learning.
A renowned evangelist, economist and President of the Worldwide Miracle Outreach, Dr Lawrence Tetteh, who launched the anniversary brochure said 75 years for the operation of a school was a blessing and an opportunity that called for reflection on its achievements, successes and challenges.
The Headmistress of the School, Dr Mrs Shine Ofori, said the school’s academic performance kept on improving as it recorded 99.9 percentage pass in the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) this year.
She said during this year's first best teacher and best school award ceremony held recently, the school received an award for the Third Best WASSCE 2015 result in the Senior High School Category in the Greater Accra Region.
She touched on challenges confronting the school and pointed out that the school need another 36-unit classroom block to enable it to increase intake of students, adding that the school's science block was on the verge of collapsing and needed a new one as well as a library for reading and research.
She also spoke about security problems on the school’s compound and said a number of unauthorised persons continued to invade the school, leading to increase in the cases of theft and burglary, with some criminals masking their faces and threatening to attack security men on campus.