The Mfantsipim School on Saturday held the maiden edition of its stakeholders’ conference dubbed “Dwen Hwε Kan Forum” to chart a course to a more impactful future as the foremost secondary education institution in the country.
‘Dwen Hwε Kan’, meaning think ahead, is the Mfantsipim School Motto.
The conference, in preparation for the school’s 150th-anniversary celebration in 2026, was on the
theme: “Ensuring Education Excellence: The Role of Stakeholders” and assembled key stakeholders of the school to contribute ideas on how to carry out its holistic development.
Participants included parents, students, old students, teachers, community members, representatives of the Education Directorate, authorities of the Methodist Church, Ghana and the family of the Founder of the school, John Mensah Sarbah.
Experts led discussions in five thematic areas namely, academic excellence, infrastructure development, recreation, human resource and financing in line with the school’s holistic development agenda.
Reverend Ebenezer Aidoo, the Headmaster of the school, observed that age was catching up with the infrastructure of the oldest school in the country and expressed fear that the school might face severe infrastructural challenges in the next 10 years if nothing was done about it.
He mentioned dormitory blocks, masters’ flats and the headmaster’s residence as some of the structures that needed urgent attention.
“Our great population also calls for infrastructural expansion. It is, therefore, important that we put in place an overall balanced development and infrastructure policy and planning framing work for the school.
“At the heart of every developmental activity is money. Funds are needed to carry out holistic development in all fields of endeavour,” he added.
Acknowledging the efforts of the government in education, Rev Aidoo lauded the government for the Free Senior High School programme and the “massive” infrastructural development in various schools.
He indicated that two classroom blocks and a dormitory were under construction in the school, which when completed would enable Mfantsipim school to run a single-track system next academic term.
“Government can’t do it all and hence the need for stakeholders to play active roles in ensuring holistic development of every school,” he stressed.
The headmaster also acknowledged the efforts and contributions of the old students, the church and the Parents and Teachers’ Association to the development of the school.
“We need to think ahead and look ahead for more of greater impact in the country and worldwide. The Mfantsipim brand should be well preserved as the competition for relevance among other schools”, he added.
The Chief of Essikado and Chairman for the occasion, Nana Kobina Nketsia V, said it was time to redream school and stay away from doing things in the old ways.
He called on all stakeholders to put their hands on deck to advance the cause of the school, challenging them to engage in critical thinking, listening, interrogation and assessment.
He urged the students to imbibe patriotism, honesty, discipline, respect, integrity, volunteerism and self-reliance taught by the school.
For her part, Mrs Martha Owusu Agyemang, the Central Regional Director of Education, outlined the role of every stakeholder and said a meaningful collaboration by all stakeholders was prudent for creating an effective education system.
Among other things, she implored parents, as the first stakeholders in education, to assist their wards with a study timetable, fulfil financial obligations and follow up on the assessment of their wards.
She said that the government was honouring its part of the bargain by resourcing schools and teachers, maintaining school infrastructure and providing a conducive environment for teaching and learning
“Role of government is unexhaustive and we all have to do our part to help the government to achieve its goals,” she appealed.
While urging teachers to continue imparting knowledge and bringing out the best in the students, she advised the students to learn to be disciplined.
Prof. Philip Ebow Bondzi-Simpson, a former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), was concerned about going beyond the pursuit of academic excellence and creating the enabling environment for students to be innovative.
“What shall it profit a Mfantsipim student to get all As and be useless in society? Get your As and do more in life than your As,” he said.
He added that: “We must expose our students to the real world and the practical dimension of what they will be doing in future”
He advocated for a significant increase in learning facilities and stressed: “We must focus on essentially equipping the staff for them to do their job to bring out the best in our students.”