St John's Junior High School celebrates 60th Anniversary

Bolgatanga, June 24, GNA – Saint John’s Junior High School in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region has celebrated its 60th Anniversary with a call on stakeholders to assess its achievements, successes and failures to enable it strategize for the future.

Madam Faustina Agongo, Headmistress of the school expressed optimism that if stakeholders showed high sense of belonging and supported it in varied ways it could achieve more successes as evidenced in the excellent leaders it produced.

She said ‘we believe that if one excellent product of this great institution led his generation so well, then we ought to groom up multiple excellent students who would lead this region and country at large.’

The event was held on the theme; ‘Grooming effective leaders through excellent performance.’

Giving the history of the school, Madam Agongo, said it was established in 1956 as a Middle School, by Reverend Father John Baptist Asodena, who was the only Gurune Priest in the Diocese at that time.

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She said owing to the refusal of a brilliant student; the late Mr Akataba Awafo who was later known as Lawyer Kaba to proceed to the then St Mary’s Middle School in Navrongo after completing St Charles Primary School the late father decided to establish the school.

She explained that little Awafo refusal was because he could not commute to Navrongo and back to Bolgatanga weekly, as all his mates failed to qualify to the next level, and Kasem, the language of the people of Navrongo was also a barrier for him to further his education.

She said the name of the school was later changed to Continuation School at an era when it had many handy courses that prepared students for higher education as well as apprenticeship.

She said the school continued to expand with support from Missionaries and its Parent- Teacher Association (PTA) till date, adding that ‘no doubt, St. John’s is existing because of the strong support from its PTA.

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She disclosed, ‘In fact, when the supply of chalk from government was not regular and inadequate, the PTA quickly assisted the school to switch to the use of marker boards.’

Madam Agongo commended the PTA for the cordial relationship that it had nursed over the years making it possible for the school to pursue academic work effectively and consistently topped public schools in the Municipality.

The headmistress said the school was ranked second to a private school among Catholic schools in the Navrongo-Bolgatanga dioceses, and added that in 2016, five students had distinctions, two were awarded scholarships to further their education to Senior High School while the best student in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), won the prestigious Presidential award for the year.

She said the school was a force to reckon with in the field of sports as it had won many laurels in the circuit in the 2014/15 academic years.

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Madam Agongo expressed worry about encroachment of the school land by community members, insufficient supply of stationary and tools for its technical department, as well as erratic water supply to the school.

She added that inadequate furniture, especially in its computer laboratory compelled pupils to carry furniture from their classrooms to the computer laboratory for lessons.

Mr Rockson Ayine Bukari, Upper East Regional Minister, said leadership was critical if any nation would grow to be prosperous, ‘Leadership is the rallying point where people are galvanized to realise their vision.’ He added.

He said grooming students at an early stage of their lives for excellent leadership placed lots of responsibilities on duty bearers, and urged parents to be the first role models for the children.

He appealed to land owners in the region to release lands for school projects and counselled the students to take their studies seriously.