Africa-Press – Ghana. Mrs Leticia Saka, Headteacher of Philip Quaque school, the first elementary school in West Africa, has applauded President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his commitment to renovate the historic school.
President Akufo-Addo, in his 65th Independence Anniversary address to Ghanaians on Sunday, pledged to renovate the historic edifice to commemorate the Anniversary.
“Let me announce to the good people of Cape Coast that in commemoration of this occasion, the government has decided to rehabilitate in full, the Philip Quaque Boys School, the first primary boys’ School in our country as its anniversary gift to Cape coast,” he announced.
Elated by the President’s decision, Mrs Saka said the intervention will shore up students’ enrolment, reduce absenteeism and sustainably improve the quality of teaching and learning.
She said the move would enhance security in the school and ease the constant fear among students and teachers as a result of the recent falling off of some old pillars supporting the structure.
Additionally, it will rekindle the pioneering role of early educationists that has earned the ancient city the accolade “citadel of education” in Ghana.
That will give a strong boost to the region’s quest to promote quality education and educational tourism to ease development, she said.
The historic school was established in 1766 and named after an African priest, missionary and educator in Cape Coast, Philip Quaque, the founder.
The over 250-year-old school, located some few meters away from the Cape Coast Castle, has produced renowned personalities, including the former Speaker of Parliament, Ebenezer Begyina Sekyi Hughes, former Chief of Staff under ex-President Jerry John Rawlings’ administration, Nana Ato Dadzie, and Oguaa Omanhen, Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II.
A visit by the GNA to the school revealed that since its establishment, the school which now has a population of 284 and 18 teachers had not received any facelift.
A greater part of the roofing had ripped off, dangling windows, exposed electrical cables and multiples of deep cracks on the walls are threatening the lives of the occupants.
Again, due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, the pillars seem to be losing the fight against the sea breeze and time, while rings of craters of water and gullies had prevented the pupils from engaging in extra-curricula activities.
Broken walls and old tainted asbestos roofing sheets also tell stories held over two-and-a-half centuries of the existence of the school.