By Adwoa Korama
National conversation on educational standards has tilted towards focusing on the quality of products from all levels and the implications for national development dreams. Every country’s dream is to raise a formidable army of generations capable of holding on to the values on which the nation is built. This is more crucial in the wake of countries pushing for integration as the world evolves into a global village.
Unanimously, consensus is building around the conviction that education is the major facilitator and catalyst in realising those bold dreams we have as a nation. Ghana’s national anthem forcefully articulates a national ethos that calls for strength, boldness, courage, and excellence at the core of the crusade for freedom and justice.
However, the qualitative output in terms of products from our educational institutions has raised grave concerns for national attention chief among them teacher welfare, limited infrastructure development and curriculum content in relation to industrial needs.
A careful study of results from the West Africa Senior High School examination between 2003 and 2013 show a pattern of poor results. However, the Wesley Girls High School is one of the few schools that has maintained consistency in the results in blazing the trail of Ghana in the sub region.
The school has achieved the status of a national icon with year on year impeccable academic records and an equally stellar track record for its graduates. In very recent times as always, Wesley Girls High School produced:
• The overall National Best WASSCE candidate in Ghana and West Africa for 2011, Overall National Third Best candidate in 2011 and the best candidate in General Science in 2011.
• The overall National Best WASSCE candidate in Ghana and West Africa for 2012 and 2013
• The overall 1st and 2nd Best WASSCE candidate in West Africa for 2013 and the best Business candidate in Ghana in 2013
• The overall National Best WASSCE candidates in Ghana in Business, Visual Arts and Home Economics in 2012.
Established in 1836 by Methodist missionaries in Cape Coast, Wesley Girls High School or Wey Gey Hey as it is affectionately known has consistently maintained high academic and moral standards. This is very characteristic of the philosophy of the school, which places significant emphasis on producing quality recording breaking results. It is therefore understandable that products of the school exude confidence, control, finesse and good morals, which is very consistent with its motto “Live Pure, Speak True, Right Wrong, Follow the King”.
Perhaps that has become a creed which inspires pupils of the hill top school to show the way in academic excellence and morals, a number of whom are spearheading national transformational roles in the country. This fact draws out a salient theme in the discourse that borders on girls enrolment. According to a Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition report, the enrolment of girls in Ghana declines progressively from an equal footing with that of boys at the basic level to drastic drop out at tertiary level despite the intervention of international and local groups such as Education For All.
As a testament to the quality of training that motivates past students to play an integral part in the realization of the school’s mission, year groups of the Wesley Girls High School have set themselves an ambitious goal to support academic outcomes through various innovative vehicles. There is a clear plan for old girls of the school to contribute in different ways.
One of such ambitious initiatives is the 1974 Year Group of Wesley Girls’ High School announcing the creation of a Foundation to help promising but needy students to afford fees at their alma mater. The Foundation would also support the maintenance of the school’s infrastructure and contribute to teacher welfare. This support from old girls is one of the fundamental reasons for the success of the school.
The 1974 Foundation was inaugurated on November 5, 2014 at a colourful and impressive ceremony chaired by Mrs. Betty Dzokoto, the current headmistress of the school with the key note address delivered by Prof. Efua Hesse, a Paediatric Surgeon of the Paediatric Surgery Unit of the Surgical Department of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, also an old girl. The President of the Wesley Girls’ ’74 Year Group Foundation is Ms. Esther A.N Cobbah
“Wesley Girls’ High School consistently churns out God-fearing, well-balanced, self-confident and successful individuals who are capable of taking the challenges of a fast-changing world in their stride,” Ms Cobbah said. “It is a place where each girl develops her talents to the full, while respecting those of others,’ she added.
An observation is that in Wesley Girls High School, girls are strongly encouraged to think about the wider world and particularly about those less fortunate than themselves and this upbringing inculcated into students of the School is a reflection of the noble ambition of the 1974 Year Group to establish a Foundation to mobilize funds to be used to support education of under privileged students, teacher welfare and provision of facilities for the school.
This display of rare ingenuity and energy underpinned by excellence has always been a tradition of the School and the 1974 Year Group is proud of the contribution they are able to make to provide opportunities for girls to actively take part in the social, moral, spiritual and cultural education at Wesley Girls High School. The WHGS ‘74 Year Group states that it hopes to reverse this trend through the activities of its Foundation which include creating opportunities for needy students whom they hope would become future leaders of the country after an education at the prestigious school.
The Foundation has a number of short, medium and long term activities lined up to mobilize resources to support underprivileged students from across the country at Wesley Girls High School. Members of the general public and old girls of the school are encouraged to contribute to this worthy cause. The first presentation from the Foundation will be presented to the school at its next Speech and Prizing Giving Day on 7th February, 2015. The year group states that it aims to raise GHC100, 000 for the foundation by the end of December 2014.