From Michael Boateng, Sunyani
Fifty years ago, precisely on October 2, 1958, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, then President of the Republic of Ghana, cut the sod to start the construction of a secondary school in Sunyani, which has grown to become a mighty oak tree called Sunyani Senior High School.
The school was officially opened In October 1960, with 36 students, comprising 31 boys and five girls.
Currently, it has a student population of 2,400. The teaching staff has increased from 4 to 71, non-teaching from 9 to 83, whiles the number of students who have passed out of SUSEC since its establishment, is about 12,529.
Many of the old students hold very responsible positions in and outside the country as pastors, doctors, lawyers, teachers, parliamentarians and private businessmen and women.
The school can also boast of a number of enviable and starring achievements since its inception, notable among them, the winning of the 48th National Inter Schools Independence Anniversary Debate held in Accra in 2005, where the school defeated St. Roses Senior High School of Akwatia in the finals.
Master Seth Arthur of the school was adjudged the National Best Student in a Science Olympiad held in Jakarta-Indonesia that same year, whilst Nana Doris Marfo, a female tutor of the school who is now the Assistant Headmistress Domestic, won the Overall National Best Teacher Prize.
In 2008, another second year student, Miss Priscilla Abasi Mbama, was selected among five other students to represent Ghana in an International Junior Science Olympiad in South Korea, and currently, Master Oppong David is in the United States of America on a Cultural Exchange programme, whilst Miss Ntewusu Sheila has just returned from the United Kingdom (UK) on an International Air Cadet Exchange Programme (IACE).
In the field of sports, Miss Regina Tetteh emerged the best female player in table-tennis and soccer in the region in 2009, and currently, SUSEC is the regional champion for basketball in both the boys and girls division to represent Brong-Ahafo in Accra.
During the climax of the celebration at the school’s premises on Saturday, November 27, the Headmaster, Mr. Joseph Awuah, mentioned that SUSEC had now gone international.
According to Mr. Awuah, by August 2011, the school would be linked up to two high schools in the United States of America (USA) in the State of Alabama. Two other High schools in Tuscaloosa, USA, have also shown interest to establish an exchange programme with SUSEC. He stressed that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to actualise the agreement would be signed in August 2011.
He appealed to the government to complete the ultramodern 2,000-capacity Assembly Hall Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) project started three years ago, and also provide a modern computer laboratory to give the best ICT training to students.
The Headmaster noted that the government-funded boys’ dormitory, which is under construction, needs to be completed quickly, to ease the accommodation problems facing the boys.
Mr. Awuah raised concern over the use of mobile phones by students in school, saying it was becoming a headache, as most students spend the whole night making free calls to the neglect of their books, suggesting that a total ban on the use of mobile phones in schools would be the way forward.
He said SUSEC accommodates the Science Resources Centre for the Municipality, and as a result, the laboratories are always occupied by students from sister schools, and therefore, appealed for the establishment of a junior laboratory for the school.
To check drug abuse, especially, marijuana or ‘wee’ smoking among students, Mr. Awuah suggested that the police identify and locate all wee-smoking spots, and deal ruthlessly with the dealers.
According to him, Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) should be given the leverage to contribute to the infrastructural development of their schools, because undue government interference, sometimes delays their projects, or may be the cause for a total halt.
Pix: (top) The Anniversary Cake being cut by dignitaries from the region