SWESCO launches 60th anniversary - Grand durbar to climax celebration in February next year

BY: Gilbert Mawuli Agbey
 Mrs Alberta Obiriwa Rigg-Stewart (left), Rev. Professor Adow Obeng (2nd left), Professor Kwesi Yankah (2nd right) and Dr Tony Oteng-Gyasi (right) displaying the anniversary logo
Mrs Alberta Obiriwa Rigg-Stewart (left), Rev. Professor Adow Obeng (2nd left), Professor Kwesi Yankah (2nd right) and Dr Tony Oteng-Gyasi (right) displaying the anniversary logo

The Swedru Senior High School (SWESCO) is the first Ghana Education Trust (GET) school established by the first President of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, in 1959.

The mission of the school is to provide quality education and inculcate in students values that engender good moral character, integrity and empowers them to be responsible citizens after school.

The operation of the school took off with an initial enrolment of 187 students in 1959, made up of 118 form one students and 69 students picked from other schools to start form two. Since then, the intake of students has continued to increase progressively, with the current total student enrolment at 3,136, made up of 910 form three students, 905 form two students and 1,321 newly placed first year students.

Academic programmes

Currently, programmes offered in the school are General Arts, General Science, Business, Agriculture, Home Economics and Visual Arts.

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With the motto ‘Semper cum Optimis,’ a Latin expression meaning ‘Always with the best’, Swesco has maintained its credible performance particularly in the West African Secondary School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE), making it the best senior high school (SHS) among the eight high schools in the Agona area.

On Friday, September 21, a ceremony was held at the school to officially launch its 60th anniversary celebration.

The event, which was well-attended by old students, parents and current students, was on the theme: ‘Ensuring quality secondary education through free SHS; our collective responsibility’.

The celebration, which will be climaxed with a grand anniversary durbar on February 16, 2019, will be preceded with a series of programmes and activities, including a fund-raising dinner dance on October 6, 2018 in Accra.

Free SHS

Speaking on the theme, the Guest Speaker, Rev. Professor Emmanuel Adow Obeng, the President of the Presbyterian University College Ghana (PUCG), suggested that discussions on the government’s free SHS policy should be moved from a party manifesto promise to a national development agenda, so as to insulate it against any future reversal by any government.

He called on the government to aggressively improve and expand facilities such as dormitories, classrooms, libraries and other student—friendly facilities to meet the demands of the growing student population as a result of the new policy.

Professor Adow Obeng, who is also an old student of the school, indicated that in the era of the new double track system, school management should be very firm with the supervision of teachers to ensure that they were punctual to deliver full contact hours to ensure quality teaching and learning.

For his part, the Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah, expressed worry about the emergence of indecent interaction between teachers and students in SHSs across the country, and said it was high time second cycle institutions exposed and cracked the whip on such despicable role models to serve as deterrent to others.

The Chairman of the Board of Governors of the school, Mr Bernard Joe Appeah, disclosed that the board had secured 80 out of the initial 120 acres allocated to the school to prevent further encroachments. It had also developed a-five-year strategic development plan that would guide the progress of the school.

Continuous support

The President of the Old students Association, Mr Frank Danso Dankyi, stated that over the years, the past students had been supportive and would continue to support the growth and development of the school. He indicated that ‘as old students we have a major role to play in the growth or of our alma mater’.

In a welcome address, the Headmistress of the school, Mrs Alberta Obiriwa Rigg-Stewart, said over the years, the school had produced quality human resources in the areas of academia, industry, consultancy, media, politics, health, among others, who were making meaningful contributions to the growth of the country.

She commended successive governments, old students and the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) for carrying out numerous projects aimed at addressing the infrastructural challenges of the school.
Mrs Rigg-Stewart appealed for the renovation of dilapidated classrooms and completion of all ongoing projects, as well as the rehabilitation of the roads in the school.

The Managing Director of Tropical Cable and Conductor Limited, and an old student of the school, Dr Tony Oteng-Gyasi, who chaired the ceremony, implored the students to remain focused and work hard to achieve academic excellence.

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