Bolgatanga Girls’ is 50 years; Climax on Nov. 25
With a chequered history, the Bolgatanga Girls Senior High School (BOGISS) is 50 years old since the establishment of the premier girls SHS in the Upper East Region.
The school was initially established in 1956 as Bolgatanga Government Girls Middle Boarding School but after nine years of operation, the name was changed to Bolgatanga Women’s Training College in 1965.
Again, in 1973, the school suffered another name change to Bolgatanga Girls’ Secondary School with an initial student intake of 35 as pioneer students.
This became possible after the training college system of the school was phased out in 1977.
Subsequently, in 1991, the educational reform maintained the name of the school till today.
Currently, the school has a student population of 3,206, representing almost 1000 per cent increase over the past 50 years.
The staff strength of the school, which was 24 made of 12 teaching and 12 non-teaching when the school took off, has risen to 132 teaching and 60 non-teaching due to the number of programmes offered, coupled with the student population.
The school will hold its golden jubilee this coming Saturday.
It will begin a week-long celebration today which will be climaxed on November 25 on the theme: “Girl child education; A critical tool for national development”.
The school is among three senior high schools (SHSs) in the Bolgatanga Municipality, including Sherigu Community Day SHS and Zamse Senior High Technical School.
In 1973, BOGISS started with three academic programmes, namely General Science, General Arts and Business but in 1991 Home Economics was also added.
In the 2014/2015 academic year, Visual Arts was added, bringing the total number of programmes run in the school to five.
The Headmistress of the school, Patricia Agoteba Anaba, who spoke to the Daily Graphic, said the history of the school could not be told without acknowledging the tremendous contributions of former heads who contributed to the growth of the institution.
She mentioned Susan Alhassan, Georgina Intsiful, Reverend Sister Cathrine Tracy, Blandina B. Batir, H.T. Ward, Stella K. Yembila, Agnes Atagabe, Francisca Yizura, Memuna Abubakar and Rose A. Avonsige for their efforts towards the progress of the school.
She said: “The individual contributions of my predecessors cannot be underestimated as they were the pillars that stood firm to move this school thus far.”
“As we mark the 50th milestone in the history of this great school, surely their names would be written in gold,” she added.
Touching on the school’s academic performance, she said the school’s worst academic performance in the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) was in 2020.
She stressed that the 2020 academic session was the most terrible moment for all schools because students sat home for close to a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, noting: “Management put in place some measures which yielded an increase in passes in 2021 and 2022”.
She mentioned that 2022 was the best year with the best grade being aggregate six; Integrated Science had 93 per cent pass with the highest pass recorded in Mathematics with 99 per cent and noted that with the needed support, the school would continue to live up to expectation.
Touching on the role of old students, she lauded them for their tremendous contributions towards the forward march of their alma mater, including the construction of a mechanised borehole, the renovation of the dining hall, library and infirmary and the painting of the school, among others, as part of the golden jubilee celebration.
In 2019, the school qualified for the National Science and Maths Quiz.
Also, in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023, BOGISS won the regional cook art competition continuously for four years and went ahead to place 4th position in the national competition.
Additionally, in 2022, BOGISS won the Energy Commission’s SHS renewable energy challenge at the regional level and took the 4th position at the national level.
Furthermore, this year, the school emerged winners in the maiden national cyber champions competition held in the region.
Notwithstanding the achievements of the school, she indicated that some challenges needed to be tackled to create the needed academic environment for the benefit of current and future students.
The school lacks adequate furniture and classrooms to accommodate the growing population and to enable BOGISS to run a single track and further needed staff quarters to house more teachers in the school to improve discipline.
It further needs a water reservoir to address water shortages in the school.