St. Nicholas marks 10 years of holistic education for disavantaged children

Education School Anniversary
Education School Anniversary

St. Nicholas Preparatory School marked its 10th anniversary celebrations of the provision of holistic education that improves the lives of disadvantaged children in Tema New Town from pre-school up to Junior High School.

The anniversary coincides with the graduation of the first batch of students, who had successfully completed the Basic Education Certificate Examination since the establishment of the school in 2012.

Madam Deborah Eleazar, a director of Tsakos Shipping London and a Founding Trustee, said the progress of the school and the success chalked could not have been possible without support from donors and trustees.

She made special mention of the Maria Tsakos Foundation for providing the seed money for the start of the project and for their continued support.

She also thanked the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Greece, Mr. Nicos Dendias who on an official visit to Ghana found time to visit the school and has since supported in many laudable ways.

She acknowledged the immense support the school receives from Mytilineous Metka who contributed among many others, the canteen building, some classrooms and recently a school bus and continue to support the school. She also lauded the contribution of Tsakos shipping companies, Captain Barry Hedges and the 500 Reasons Group and many other individuals who are supporting the school through provision of funds and sponsorship of specific children.

Ms Maria Asmarianaki, a Greek national working in Ghana, donated on behalf of Kate construction of Greece, 181 new shoes for the children and three months of food in support of the schools programme of providing two square meals free of charge to the children every school day.

Ivan Quashigah, CEO of Farmhouse Productions and a trustee of the School, described the anniversary as a very special day for all who saw the humble beginning of the school as no one believed it could attain such remarkable heights within 10 years.

“We saw the beginning of what we didn’t know would turn out to be what we are seeing today. It was just a leap of faith and I have to say anytime I come here to see the children delivering so much of what they have been taught, I marveled,” he said.

Mr Quashigah praised the role played by Captain Alkiviades Kappas, and Madam Deborah Eleazar who championed the project when it started with a handful of children under a shed on the premises of the church.
“The labour of love is now mature and today we are celebrating 10 years of a school that has become an oasis of hope in the midst of deprivation and despair”.

“The dream of the founding trustees which is embodied in the motto of the school “every child deserves an education” is centered on the premise that the vicious cycle of poverty which is common in this area and which keeps replicating itself through generations where a child is born into poverty; is brought up in deprivation, grows up with lack of the requisite skills and is disadvantaged and end up bringing up his or her own children in poverty can only be broken through the provision of quality education” he opined.

Professor Francis Dodoo, who was the Guest Speaker, encouraged the students to make the necessary efforts to leverage the opportunities that come available to them.

He urged the parents and teachers to take up the responsibility and commit themselves to supporting the school to give the children a better shot at life.

“I’m hoping that at some point, these children can take advantage of the opportunity of being in a sanctuary like this. It’s a lighthouse. It’s a brilliant way to light the future for the young ones,” he said.

He also advised the children. “You have to try to work hard. You have to understand that good things do not come easy. You have to work hard. You have to listen to your teachers. You have to try and push even when things are not easy, when they are painful,” he added.

Professor Dodoo urged the graduates not to dwell on their current achievements but to persevere and achieve while scaling the barriers on their way and called on the sponsors to continue to support the school.

Mr Evans Setuagbe, Headmaster, said St. Nicholas had offered a unique education to the community and the country.

“We have come a long way since 2012 offering education with Lifeline support and care. A very unique opportunity for families who cannot afford basic educational needs for their children,” he said.

While the students wait for their results, which will be released in February 2023 to enable them go on to the secondary school, St. Nicholas is offering them a work experience programme for them to pick up a few more responsible behaviours before they move on.

Ms Lawrencia Kemavor, in a speech on behalf of the graduates, expressed gratitude to the sponsors, teachers and parents for contributing to a free and quality education.

There were exciting displays by the School Cadet, the cultural troupe, the Greek Dancers and the composers club and awards for individuals and institutions that had played a key role in the development and growth of the school.

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