The St Pauls Senior High School (SPACO) in Denu has launched its 60th anniversary celebration with a call on stakeholders of the school to contribute to salvage the sunken image of the institution.
“I wish to appeal to the Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh; the Ketu South Municipal Chief Executive, old students, our traditional authorities and other stakeholders, philantropists and well-wishers to come on board to put SPACO back onto a befitting pedestal that made the school to be referred to as the ‘Border University,” the Headmaster of the school, Mr Francis K. Hlorgbe, made the appeal at the launch of the anniversary in Accra.
According to him, “we have all neglected Great SPACO for so long.”
Various activities have been planned for the anniversary which will commence in March 2018. The celebrations will climax on Monday, July 2, 2018 and end with a grand durbar at the school on Saturday, July 8, 2018.
The theme for the celebration is “Church-Community relations: 60 years of Educational Partnership and Search for Greater Heights.”
Mr Hlorgbe listed some of the challenges facing the school as inadequate infrastructure as well as the deplorable state of the science laboratory and all the three dormitory blocks which required prompt rehabilitation.
He also entreated the government and the municipal assembly to complete two dormitory structures, which were started in 1981,and 2011 respectively.
The headmaster added that the dining hall and kitchen also needed rehabilitation and expansion as it could no more cater for the 600 students it was originally built for, because the student population now stood at 1,300.
According to Mr Hlorgbe, the school is also without a bus. He, therefore,appealed to the government to provide a 66-seater bus for the school.
The President of the St Paul’s Old Students Association (SPOSA), Mr Sesi Dzakpasu, said the success of the school in the next 60 years was threatened, if nothing drastic and urgent was done to reverse the unenviable downward trend.
He reiterated the pledge of the old students to put in every effort to regain the image of SPACO.
Mr Dzakpasu called on the Ghana Education Service and relevant stakeholders to boldly implement recommendations of the committee set up to investigate the 2015 riots in the school which claimed one life.
The President of the Aflao Traditional Council, Torgbi Adzonugaga Amenya Fiti V, who chaired the occasion, commended the Catholic Church’s good works for setting up the school in the area 60 years ago which had helped to train many people who were doing well in various fields of endeavour.
Torgbi Fiti, also an old student, pledged the support of the traditional authority to the development of the school and called on all stakeholders to contribute their quota to restore the school back to its former glory.
The Chairman of the Anniversary Central Planning Committee, Mr Victor Way Kuvodu, said the old students desired to use the anniversary as a turning point to awaken the school and its partners to the deteriorating conditions.
He said four broad goals had been set to manage the challenges, but in the short term, the school and its stakeholders would adopt a comprehensive development plan; institutionalise a robust performance management system with rewards and sanctions; adopt and implement the SPACO awards and also adopt the SPACO Mentorship Programme.
They will also institutionalise the SPACO Infrastructure Fund as well as a SPACO Academic Improvement Fund.
SPACO used to be a first rate school in the Volta Region, with high curricular and extracurricular performances which earned it the accolade ‘The Border University.’
In recent times, however, indiscipline among students, inadequate supply of teaching and learning materials and deteriorating infrastructure, among other factors, have led to poor academic performance in the school.
However, Mr Hlorgbe was optimistic about the future of the school, saying management had identified indiscipline on the part of students as the “cause of the downward trend which is being tackled with all seriousness and observable evidence is giving us the assurance that we will succeed,” he assured.