Phone +223 66 76 70 50
|Opened 28 January 1927|
Address Achimota, Ghana
Founder Gordon Guggisberg
School district Accra Metropolis District
|School type High School Co-educational Boarding / Residential|
Motto Ut Omnes Unum Sint(That all may be one)
Religious affiliation(s) Non-denominational Christian
Achimota School (formerly Prince of Wales College and School, Achimota, now nicknamed Motown), is a co-educational boarding school located at Achimota in Accra, Greater Accra, Ghana. The school was founded in 1924 by Sir Frederick Gordon Guggisberg, Dr. James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey and Rev. Alexander (Alec) Garden Fraser. It was formally opened in 1927 by Sir Frederick, then Governor of the British Gold Coast colony.
- Achimota school 89th founders dayanniversary
- Male houses
- Female houses
- Learning environment
- Ties to similar schools
- Old Achimotan Association
The school has educated many African leaders, including Kwame Nkrumah, Edward Akufo-Addo, Jerry John Rawlings, and John Evans Atta Mills and John Dramani Mahama all of whom are former Heads of State of Ghana. Former Prime Minister of Ghana Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia taught at Achimota. Also included in its list of African heads of state are Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe and Sir Dawda Jawara, first head of state of The Gambia. An alumnus/alumna of Achimota is known as an "Akora".
The motto of the school is Ut Omnes Unum Sint meaning "That all may be one", a reference to the founders' expressed philosophy that starting in the context of school life, black and white, male and female, everyone should integrate and combine synergistically for the good of all. The stylised piano-key design of the Achimota School crest was described by Aggrey at the time: "You can play a tune of sorts on the black keys only; and you can play a tune of sorts on the white keys only; but for perfect harmony, you must use both the black and the white keys".
Achimota school 89th founders dayanniversary
After the First World War, J.K. and the Government of the Gold Coast felt the need for an advanced education. As Guggisberg put it, "In spite of the existence of one or two educational institutions of a secondary nature, the intellectual gap between the African who had completed his education at an English University and the semi-educated African of our primary school is dangerously wide. No one is more ready than I to sympathize with the legitimate aspirations of the African for advancement and for a greater share in the Government of this country, but if we are to help him to do this, if we are to protect the masses from the hasty and ill-conceived schemes of possible local demagogues, we must hasten as rapidly as our means will allow to fill up the gap between the two classes."
Achimota College was therefore established as part of Guggisberg's plan to reform the Gold Coast educational system. In August 1920, Guggisberg met and befriended native-born Dr. James Aggrey who was in the Gold Coast as a member of the Phelps Stokes Fund's African Education Commission. In 1922, as a result of the Phelps-Stokes Commission's 1920 report on education, Guggisberg appointed a committee to review its recommendations for Gold Coast education reform. That committee recommended the establishment of a comprehensive institution at Achimota to provide general secondary education, teacher training and technical education for male students. Achimota College was then conceived, thanks to the effort and support of Chiefs such as Nene Sir Emmanuel Mate Kole, Konor of Manya Krobo; Nana Sir Ofori Atta, Omanhene of Akyem Abuakwa and Nana Amonoo V, Omanhene of Anomabo, as well as prominent statesmen of the time such as the Hon. Dr. Benjamin W. Quartey Quaye Papafio, the Hon. F. V. Nanka-Bruce, both of Accra; the Hon. Thomas Hutton-Mills, Sr. of Accra, the Hon. E. J. P. Brown of Cape Coast, and the Hon. J. E. Casely-Hayford of Sekondi.
The Colonial government meant to carry out its policy to establish an excellent secondary institution where teachers as well as students would be trained. The Legislative Council went on to approve the 1923–24 budget for the establishment of the Prince of Wales College and School, and in March 1924, Guggisberg laid the foundation stone. Rev. Alexander G. Fraser was the first Principal (1924–1935), and Dr. James Aggrey was the first Vice-Principal (1924–1927). Fraser had previously been Principal of Trinity College, Kandy, an elite school in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, and was hailed as the greatest colonial headmaster of his day by the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Aggrey campaigned vigorously for women's education at a time when the idea was not popular, and held the belief that to educate a man was to educate an individual, while educating a woman had more far-reaching benefits to family and community. This led to an increase in the number of places offered to girls by the College.
From 1924 until it opened on 28 January 1927, Guggisberg, Fraser and Aggrey worked together to realise Guggisberg's dream of establishing a first-class co-educational school and college. The University College of the Gold Coast, which is now known as the University of Ghana, had its roots in Achimota College. The University of Ghana holds its annual Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial Lecture series to honour the founders' contributions to education in Ghana. The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) also had its roots in Achimota College's Engineering School.
Achimota, originally known as the Prince of Wales College and School, was formally opened on 28 January 1927 by the then Governor of the Gold Coast, Sir Frederick Gordon Guggisberg. The guest of honour at the opening ceremony was Edward VIII, the then Prince of Wales, after whom the school was named. As one of the most prestigious institutions of its kind, known for its high academic standards and culture, it trained Pan-Africanist leaders during Sub-Saharan Africa's struggle for independence from colonial powers. From its student body and teaching college emerged many notable African personalities, including several heads of state, politicians, academics, scientists, doctors, lawyers, engineers, educators, architects, diplomats, computer scientists, agriculturists, accountants, artists, business leaders and industrialists. In a 2004 tribute to Akora Adrian Sherwood, a longtime English master at Achimota, the Ghana High Commission in London praised Achimota, quoting the words of the school's founding doctrine, for enabling its graduates "to know the life that is life indeed and go forth from it as living waters to a thirsty land."
Music has always played a very important part in the life of the school. Achimota’s achievements in attaining a high standard in this field led to the establishment of the Ghanaian National Symphony Orchestra and the department of music and performing art education at the University of Education, Winneba. From its inception Achimota placed special emphasis on the value of the use of one's hands in agriculture, technical and vocational. Achimota has concerned itself to set a standard of excellence in whatever field of education that meets the national needs.
"Though set upon a desert hill, may living waters rise in thee. And from thy children wider flow, the rivers of eternity" —quote from school hymn
Achimota School occupies over two square miles (525 hectares) of prime real estate in the middle of the Achimota Forest Reserve in the Accra Metropolitan Area. The school's colonial architecture and planned landscape make it visually pleasing to tour the campus and its wooded countryside-like surroundings. The campus facilities comprise a library, a cadet square, two chapels, one of which is the Aggrey Memorial Chapel; two dining halls, one on the eastern compound and another on the Western campus two gymnasia, the Achimota School Post Office, extensive sports playing fields, a swimming pool, a cricket oval, basketball court, tennis and squash courts, and an arboretum. There are several bungalows on campus for teaching staff members.
A description of Achimota School at its inception is provided below:
"Achimota College, in the Gold Coast seven miles inland from Accra is West Africa's great co-educational boarding school, where 600 West African boys and girls receive as complete an education as European or American children. It is a secondary school, teacher's training college and university rolled into one, and in planning, design and equipment it bears comparison with any educational institution anywhere. Its erection in 1925 cost £660,000 and its maintenance costs are £50,000 annually. It possesses a swimming pool, extensive playing fields, a nature reserve, a demonstration farm and a model village for the college employees. It also has its own hospital, museum, library and printing press. The students live in residential blocks spaced round the grounds, each holding 60 students and divided into 4 dormitories."
Close to the school's central campus are the Achimota Golf Club, the Achimota School Police Station, a staff village for the school's non-teaching employees also called Anumle, a forest reserve, a large farm, and the 45-bed Achimota Hospital, as well as the community surrounding the campus.
Achimota School has seventeen male and female houses on its Eastern and Western Campuses.
Resuming in 2002, lessons in aspects of Ghanaian culture such as drumming, dancing and woodcarving were revamped in an effort to incorporate more of the national culture into the curriculum. Apart from the academic and intellectual development of its students, the school emphasises practical skills and character training. The school runs on a three-term academic calendar from mid-September to late June.
There are two departments, two designated Schools, and a Home Science Unit responsible for the teaching of the subjects offered. The science and mathematics department teaches courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, agriculture and computer science, while the arts department teaches English language and literature, French, government, history, economics, geography, Christian dogma and social studies. The music school teaches music, trains the Aggrey Chapel Choir and organises music festivals; the art school teaches visual arts; and the home science department teaches home economics, catering, nutrition, life management, housekeeping, bookkeeping and clothing design.
In their first two years, students must take physical education and "religious and moral education" every term, taught by the sports and chaplaincy departments, respectively. Each student takes seven or eight subjects (depending on the programme) during each term of their three years of secondary school; in addition to three or four elective subjects taken by every student in one programme of study, each student must take the four core subjects in mathematics, English language, science and social studies.
The school's three-year programme (nine terms) leads to the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), in any of general sciences, agricultural science, general arts, visual arts and home economics, all administered by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) in May of their final year
Ties to similar schools
Old Achimotan Association
The Old Achimotan Association is the umbrella alumni organisation for past students of Achimota School, Ghana. The OAA authorises the formation of regional, branch and year groups to carry out its objectives. Members of the OAA are known as "Akoras".