Wesley Girls' High School

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Wesley Girls' High School
Location
Cape Coast, Ghana
Information
Type Public Secondary/High School
Motto Live Pure, Speak True, Right Wrong , Follow the King
Established 1836
Head of school Mrs Betty Djokoto
Staff 68
Number of students 1200
Color(s) green and yellow
Affiliation Wesleyan - Methodist Church
Address P. O. Box 61
Cape Coast, Ghana Ghana
Telephone +233 3321 32218
+233 3321 33630
Houses Bellamy ,Ellis ,Waldron, Wrigley, Wardbrew, Compton, Abban, Garnett Acheampong, New Heights
Website

Wesley Girls' High school, Ghana, is an educational institution for girls, was named after the founder of Methodism, John Wesley. The school was established in 1836 with 25 girls by the wife of a Methodist minister. It started as a primary school with the aim of offering girls training in reading and writing, sewing and house-keeping and more especially in moral and spiritual development. Today, www.africaalmanac.com, ranks the school 68th in Africa.[1]

In 1954 the school was divided and the current Wesley Girls' High School was born at a separate site in Kakumdo, a site it still occupies.

In 1993, the school welcomed its first computers from the IDCE program (International Development of Computer Education) which is founded by Yasuko Hasegawa and Yu Hasegawa of the Kyoto School of Computer Science (Kyoto Computer Gakuin), Kyoto, Japan, back in 1988. In Jan, 1993, the Hasegawa family was invited to Ghana for the inauguration of the Yasuko Hasegawa Computer Center at Wesley; Attended the ceremony were Dr. Alex Ababio, then the Minister of Education, and Dr. K.A. Butah, then the Minister of Industries, Science and Technology.

The Motto of the school is: “Live Pure, Speak True, Right Wrong and Follow the King”, which emphasizes the basic tenets of Christianity. Students of the school are expected to lead morally upright lives, speak the truth all the time and correct the wrongs in society.

Student population in the school is 1,200 with 68 teachers. Twenty-three of these teachers are female, constituting about 34% of the teaching staff. The school has no day students and also no programme/subject specialisation. (Credit: The Fiankoma Project)

History[edit]

Early History[edit]

The records of the Methodist Church show that by the time Rev. George Wrigley and his wife Harriet landed in Cape Coast on 15 September 1836, there already existed a flourishing school for boys and a small one for girls in the Cape Coast castle. Rev. Wrigley however was determined to start another boys school under the auspices of the Methodist Church. His wife started one for girls soon after their arrival. 25 girls were enrolled in the new girls school in September 1836, and classes were held in the Standfast Hall. The aim of the founder, Mrs. Harriet Wrigley, was to teach reading and sewing to the girls of Cape Coast.

Unlike the boys school, started by Rev. Wrigley which did not last long, the girls school survived even though its founder died in February 1837, five months after founding it. Her position was temporarily filled by Mrs. Barr, the wife of a European merchant, until August 1837, when the services of a very efficient school mistress, Miss Elizabeth Waldron, were secured.

Before taking up the running of the new Methodist school for girls, she was a school mistress in the school at the Castle. Her marriage to Mr. Coleman was not successful, and her only daughter died. She therefore devoted the best part of her life, 1837 to 1880,to building up the school, which was then called "Wesleyan Girls School and Training Home". The aim was still to give the girls basic education with emphasis on domestic science, to prepare the young girls for marriage to the elite gentry.

During the same period, the Methodist Church felt the need to do for the youth in Accra what it was doing for those in Cape Coast, and a Wesleyan Girls School was started in Accra in the early 1880s.

The memory of the two founding mothers of the school has been honoured by the naming of two Houses at the new site Wrigley and Waldron Houses.

In May 1876, the Wesleyan School,which later became Mfantsipim School, was established, and it appears that the tutors in that school helped in teaching the girls of the Wesleyan girls School and probably in the running of the school as well for the records do not show that the school had a Headmistress of the stature of Miss Waldron after 1880 when Mrs. Ellis a missionary and a trained Deaconess, took over the running of the school.

Modern history[edit]

In the early 1960s, WGHS was a boarding school run by British co-headmistresses, Miss Garnett and Miss Bowman. Staffing was multiracial, teachers originating from countries including Ghana, the UK, Ireland, Canada, America and Ceylon. The UK's Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) had an involvement; sending volunteers to help boost staffing, as did the US Peace Corps.

At that time, the school day began around 7.00 am and ended at 2.30 pm. Assembly came first; there was a break for breakfast at 9.00 am. The school uniform was a green tunic with yellow piping, and sandals. On Founder's Day (Speech Day), pupils were expected to wear traditional dress. Dr. Mrs. Rosina Acheampong, became the First Ghanaian Head of the School. She is now the Deputy Director General of Ghana Education Service, standing at her high post as the first ever black African headmistress of the leading girls school in the whole of Ghana. Mrs Acheampong handed over to Mrs Nancy Thompson in 1997. The school is headed by Mrs Betty Djokoto, an old girl of the school.

Courses offered at the school are in line with the curriculum of the nation; General Arts, Science, Visual Arts,Vocational Skills and Business. There are over a thousand students, between the ages of 15 and 19/20.

The school has been criticized by many parents who send their daughters there, for being overly strict and for prohibiting final year students from seeing or calling their parents completely during the last term. Muslim students are also free to practise their faith within confines of school regulations. They are however required to attend morning and weekly meetings in the school's chapel per school regulations. Wesley Girls was set up to encourage female independence, critical reasoning and a commitment to social justice. Students are ordinarily not allowed to visit home during mid-term breaks . They are rather allowed to use the mid-term breaks to relax on campus.

The school regularly features in the top 100 list of the most successful secondary schools in Africa. It has gained an award for Best Overall Science Student in the 2006 and 2012 WASSCE examinations, and First Overall Best and Second Overall Best students in The WASSCE (West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations) in the country.

Wesley Girls' High School was third in the 2008 national Science and Math Quiz. The school was represented by Esther Bondzie, Mary Frimpong, and Perfect Akpabli.

Notable Alumnae[edit]

  • Ama Ata Aidoo Playwright and educationist
  • Becca - Singer-songwriter
  • Professor D.Florence Dolphyne First female Pro-vice Chancellor, University of Ghana Legon
  • Dr. Mrs. Rosina Acheampong First Ghanaian Head of the School and First Female Deputy Director General, G.E.S.
  • REV. Afo Blay First Female Director General, Ghana Education Service.
  • Dr. Mrs. Sylvia Boye First Female Registrar W.A.E.C.
  • Mrs. Mary Chinery-Hesse First Female Director of I.L.O.U.N
  • SQ.LDR. Melody Danquah First Female Pilot of the Air Force
  • Mrs. Irene Duncan-Adanusah First Female Secretary General of G.N.A.T
  • Mrs. Janet Opoku Acheampong First Female Director General of I.R.S,
  • Prof. Mrs. Afua Hesse First Female Pediatric Surgeon
  • Mrs. Peace Ayisi Okyere First Female Executive Director of the African Development Bank.
  • Mrs. Gladys Asmah 1st Minister of the Ministry of women & Children’s Affairs
  • Hajia Alima Mahama 2nd Minister of the Ministry of women & Children’s Affairs
  • Mrs. Justice Georgina Wood First Female Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana
  • Prof. Naana J. Opoku-Agyeman First Female Vice Chancellor,Minister of Education(2013- present)
  • Prof. Elizabeth Ardayfio-Schandorf First Ghanaian Female Emerita Professor
  • Her Excellency Joana Afful First Education Awareness Ambassador to the Ministry of Education & Ghana Education Service
  • Prof. Anna Reynold Barnes First Provost School of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences, University of Ghana, Legon
  • Ms. Hannah Tetteh Minister for Foreign Affairs(2013- present)

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Africa's Top 100 High Schools". Africa Almanac. Retrieved 2007-12-29.