By Gifty Arthur
Old students of St Mary’s Senior High School (SHS), home and abroad have as part of their contribution to improve the infrastructural deficit at their alma mater, cut sod to begin renovation works on an over 30-year-old storey-block to ease pressure on existing ones.
At a ceremony last Saturday at the school’s premises in Accra, a fundraising ceremony to solicit funds from members, companies, individuals, old students, teachers and other interested groups yielded very impressive result.
In all, cash donations and pledges totalling Five Thousand, Eight Hundred and Thirty three Ghana Cedis (GH¢ 5, 833.00) was realized from the fundraising event.
The 1990/92 year group, had earlier in the programme presented a GT bank cheque of Sixty Thousand Ghana Cedis to Armstrong and Associate, a construction firm responsible for the refurbishment.
The money, was realized from contributions of individual members of the year group, sponsorship, envelops, levies, coupons, souvenirs etc. There were also donations which came in a form of building materials.
In an interview with the media the Headmistress, Ms Doris Bramson, said the initiative became necessary after resources and funds from successive governments dwindled.
She said as part of the old girls’ commitment to help the school remain one of the best in the country, SMOGA year groups, have over the years adopted one activity or the other to support the school.
Ms Bramson said, aside the 1990/92 year group accepting to refurbish the ground floor of the two storey-building, other groups, who are yet to celebrate their anniversaries after leaving St Mary SHS, will be organizing similar programmes to raise funds to renovate the remaining two floors.
She said, the two storey-building which is made up of Saints Agnes, Rita and Margaret, until the decision by the group to refurbish it was seen as a “death trap” as the ceilings were ripping off.
A tour around the building showed big cracks all over it posing a very serious danger to both staff and students.
She said, per the agreement, Armstrong and Associate are required to re-do the ceilings, the floor, and washrooms will be tiled; painting will also be carried out on the floor to make it habitable.
She said, the contribution of the old students, as well as the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), have always come in handy adding that recently, the 1991 year group donated a ten-sitter toilet facility to the school.
Outlining some of the challenges of the school, Ms Bramson decried the inconvenience of a drain that passes through the school to the “Lavender Hill” into the sea.
She said, effort to get the authorities especially the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to divert the course of the drain has proved futile.
The president of SMOGA 1990/92, Ms Naa Afi Quarcoopome said, their Alma Mata impacted in them positively and this was the time to give back to the school.
The group is made up of both A and O levels old students, who are based home and abroad. She was grateful to all who made the programme successful and pledge the group’s continual support to the school.
A former Member of Parliament (MP) for Odododiodio, Niibi Ayibonte, who doubles as a former mathematics teacher commended the group for supporting the school, as it will not only benefit students of today, but generations yet unborn.
He urged the old students to continue the get-to-gether, adding that it will be most beneficial if occasionally, they extended the programme to include their spouses and children.
He encouraged the current students to study hard and do away with ideas that they cannot study to become great people in future.