THIS year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Church of Christ Senior High School (CHRISEC) at Adadientem in the Ejisu-Juaben District, and elaborate preparations are underway to make the event a memorable one.
In 1999, the Church of Christ, having realised the need for a high and disciplined manpower to break through the challenges of life for the growth of society, and the need for getting the youth to lead morally upright lives, established the school in the predominantly farming community of Adadientem, a few kilometres from Ejisu on the main Kumasi-Accra highway.
Over the years, the church has been running the school but plans are far advanced to turn it over to the government.
A decade in the life of a rural school in Ghana definitely would never be smooth. We live in a country where the rural areas continue to be neglected in many aspects of national development. Roads in rural areas are not in the best of shape while potable water supply is still miles away from the people. These and many other challenges have had telling effects on education in the rural areas.
I had my secondary education (“O” and “A” Levels) in a rural school, precisely Acherensua Secondary School, and from experience, I can testify to the challenges that confront such schools.
Even in the current era where technology and development in other sectors have impacted positively on education, the situation cannot be the same in many rural schools. A great number of the schools are in deplorable conditions and are crying for support.
But suffice it to say that CHRISEC has braved the storm by chalking up some significant successes over the period.
Statistics at the school administration indicate that 56 past students of the school have either completed the university or were continuing their studies in the university.
Besides, 64 others are schooling in various tertiary educational institutions, including the polytechnics, Colleges of Education and nurses’ training schools.
Interestingly, most of the students whose grades in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) were not good are those who have made it to the university and other tertiary institutions. This shows the commitment of teachers and students to make the best out of the situation.
Indeed, the decision to site the school at Adadientem was not borne out of nothing. The church could have easily established it in Kumasi or any other big town in the Ashanti Region, but it took into consideration the neglect of the rural areas in the provision of quality education and planted the school in the town.
When the school was established, the headmaster went round the communities in the area to convince parents to enrol their children in the institution but things have changed now.
Today, due to academic progress and discipline, the school has attracted students from not only the locality, but also from other parts of the country. Indeed, the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has recognised CHRISEC as one of its most disciplined centres in the country.
Starting with some 30 students, the school now has a student population of 550 pursuing courses in Business, General Arts, Home Economics and Science.
It is also worth noting that almost two-thirds of the student population are females. The development is very significant in view of the fact that this cannot be seen in many schools in the country.
“We are doing everything to attract young girls to enrol in our programmes and it is working to expectation,” the headmaster of the school, Mr Cosmos Owusu Afriyie, told this writer.
The headmaster said the respectable student population “is a testimony to the strides we have made over this relatively short period of 10 years”.
A former lay-preacher of the Church of Christ, Mr Owusu Afriyie, has worked hard with the rest of his staff to instil discipline in the school and this has promoted academic discipline.
In line with the mission of the school to use the school system as a means of evangelism and instil moral principles in the youth, the authorities have made the Holy Bible part of its prospectus.
This, however, is not in any way the imposition of any doctrine on students as students are allowed to practise the religion of their choice.
The school regularly invites personalities to the campus to share their experiences with the students. This is a way of getting students to appreciate the stages of life.
Infrastructural development is key to the progress of a school. Even though the church has done well by providing some of the facilities to run the school, there is much more to be done to facilitate teaching and learning. More classroom blocks, teachers’ bungalows, hostels and a science block are needed but all these seem to be beyond the reach of the church.
The church has started the construction of a science block but lack of funds is delaying the completion of the project. The authorities have a vision to make the school a first-class science centre.
The authorities have, therefore, made an appeal to public-spirited individuals and organisations to come to the aid of the school to enable it to improve on the quality of academic performance and moral upbringing of the students.