Ho, June 9, GNA - “Hail, Hail, Mawuli may you grow from strength to strength, Hail Hail Mawuli pride of children yet unborn, Hail Mawuli, Hail Mawuli Hail Mawuli, Hail, your noble sons and daughters have pledged to protect thee, and to serve thee always with head, heart hand and soul…” goes the Mawuli School Anthem.
Founded on February 24, 1950 through the instrumentality of the Evangelical Presbyterian (E.P.) Church, Mawuli School, one of the early secondary schools in the Volta Region and the country, has evolved over the years.
In spite of many challenges, it remains one of the first choice schools for many students and their parents in and outside the Volta Region.
A few years ago, the school fell on bad times characterized by falling academic and disciplinary standards, which naturally attracted criticism of teachers by those who saw the school as one of the best in Ghana.
“Powerful” individual parents, the Parent/Teacher Association and the “almighty” Old Mawuli Students Union (OMSU), major stakeholders of the school, were always spitting “fire”. Some threw their arms up in despair having lost hope concerning the future of the school.
Just when the school seemed to have hit the bottom and was giving up “its soul and spirit” the bell for its rebirth, strength, hope and glory began to ring.
With a loud Hip!Hip!!Hip!!! Hurray! Mr Martin T.K. Amiteye, Assistant Headmaster (Administration), celebrated the re-awakening of the colossus.
“I am proud to announce that in this year's Project Citizen Competition, Mawuli School took the national first position and will represent Ghana at the continental level,” he said at the School's 59th Honours Day celebration, a major event on the school's calendar that normally attracts parents, students and old students.
The packed-to-capacity dining hall turned assembly hall went into ecstasy as both students and parents went into uncontrollable celebration.
This perhaps gives meaning to the saying that achievements are best celebrated after one has tasted defeat or failure.
Mr Amiteye noted that the school's academic glory was back as it recorded 100 per cent pass in last year's West African Senior High School Certificate Examinations with 359 students qualifying for universities out of 426 students that were presented.
He said Master Larry Ahlidzah took the best male actor and best script writer awards in February at the Adanukope Festival of Arts and Drama.
Mr Amiteye said the School's Drama Club took the second position in that competition and first in another drama competition organized by the National Commission for Culture for Schools in the Ho Municipality.
He said the School's Debaters Club participated in the 52nd Independence Anniversary debate competition for Senior High Schools in the Ho Municipality and took the first position and emerged second at the regional level.
Mr Amiteye said Miss Grace Akakpo of the School's Drama Club also took the best actress award in a recent competition. “We are gradually getting back to the good old days of good results and achievements that Mawuli is noted for.”
The Assistant Headmaster said the achievements were a reflection of the School's motto: “Head, Heart and Hand”. “For over the past 59 years, Mawuli has been a centre for the transformation of minds, hearts and hands” of people in various sectors of the country's economy contributing to national development.”
Mawuli School is noted for celebrating hard work and splendid academic and co-curricular results right from its birth.
In 1954 when the first West African School Certificate Examination results were out, 18 out of 19 candidates presented passed splendidly.
The School celebrated this achievement by organizing a torchlight procession. The torchlight was made from dry palm fronds and hence the name (Akakatsi) procession which has become a permanent feature in all celebrations of the school.
The school has produced about 9,000 graduates to date many of them excelling in the fields of Medicine, Architecture, Engineering, Journalism, Education, Religion, Commerce and Business, among others.
The story of Mawuli School cannot be complete without mentioning the late Professor Emeritus Reverend C.G. Baeta, Synod Clerk of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church at the time, who was instrumental in the establishment of the School.
The Late Reverend Professor Walter Paul Trost, the pioneer Headmaster, could also not be forgotten for choosing as the school's motto: “Head, Heart and Hand” signifying its commitment to academic excellence, religious and moral training and dignity in labour which all generations of the School have been working assiduously to uphold.
With a humble beginning of 19 male students in February 1950 and 20 female students later in 1956, the School now has a student population of 1,308 with a teaching staff of 70 and 78 non-teaching staff.
Perhaps the major problem inhibiting academic and the general progress of the School is inadequate infrastructure.
For 59 years the school's dining hall continues to serve as Assembly Hall.
An Assembly Hall Complex adopted by government under the Public Investment Project in 1999 had seen little progress and was abandoned several years ago.
Work on another government project, Administration and Library Block under Public Investment Project, is progressing rather slowly which is likely to affect the implementation of the four-year Senior High School concept.
A resource centre for the blind to ensure the integration of people living with disabilities has also been abandoned and a water closet toilet for girls is yet to be completed.
Staff accommodation is woefully inadequate and is falling into decay while a fencing project has been left in limbo due to lack of funds.
These have been the frustrations of the sons and daughters of the School whose desire it is that the School remains the centre of excellence.
Thank God the School is regaining its past academic glory and it is hoped that students and tutors would strive to bring it back to its enviable position among the league of good schools in the country.
This way, they would be making history as the generation to have reignited the dream of the founding fathers by their Heads, Hearts and Hands.
A GNA Feature by Anthony Bells Kafui Kanyi