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Mfantsipim School

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P.O. Box 101, Cape Coast; Tel: 03321 – 34923; Fax: 03321 – 33203

A second cycle institution of choice excelling beyond Ghana and firmly rooted on at least three core principles:
(I) Academic excellence ahead of the pack;
(ii) Leadership qualities of discipline and visible Christian values.
(iii) An unparalleled environment built for a holistic second cycle education.

To recapture its position as the first class educational institution; excelling in all fields of endeavour; through the provision of a conducive environment, and with the active involvement of all stakeholders, motivate both staff and students to achieve the best.

The Methodist church in Ghana actively believed, right from the very beginning of its foundation for a better social and new spiritual life in the country and took a decision at its synod of 1876 for the establishment of a high school. This resulted in the opening on the 3rd April, 1876, of the Wesleyan High School at Cape Coast the foundation of the present Mfantsipim, as a Methodist Secondary School for boys.
The Wesleyan High school had very modest beginning. Mr. James Picot, the first Headmaster, was only 18 years of age on his appointment and his educational and professional qualifications were limited to the College of Preceptors Certificate and a short teaching experience as French master at Claremont College Blackpool, England.
It is worth mentioning however, that Mr. Picot had among his foundation scholars John Mensah Sarbah and Casely Hayford who had later become shining stars in the social and political firmaments of Ghana.
In 1891 the Wesleyan High School assumed the name of the Wesleyan Collegiate School but this did not improve the fortunes of the school which had been going through difficult times and was by no means operating at the standard of a high school; shortage of funds, unsuitable accommodation and inadequacy of qualified staff were thorny problems for the institution. This state of affairs continued until 1891.
In the circumstances, John Mensah Sarbah, who was then playing the leading role in the affairs of the country, together with his Methodist compatriots, took a decisive step to ameliorate the circumstances of the school. They formed the company known as the “Fante Public Schools Limited” with a view to advancing higher education through the establishment and improvement of higher educational institutions in the country. The company set up in April, 1905, a high school called Mfantsipim which was distinct from the Wesleyan Collegiate School. Both the Wesleyan Collegiate School and Mfantsipim the new situation, experienced serious difficulties through inadequacy of resources for each institution and unhealthy rivalry between the two schools. To save the situation, the Wesleyan Collegiate School and the new institution, Mfantsipim, were amalgamated in July, 1905 under the overall management of the Methodist Church.
In the amalgamation, it was agreed that the combined and single secondary institution should be given the name Mfantsipim. Mr. John Mensah Sarbah gave the school its motto “Dwen Hwɛ Kan” which translated into plain English, means “think and look ahead” John Mensah Sarbah and his colleagues did not want the name “Mfantsipim” to be broken into syllables to indicate “Mfantsefo Apam.” They were men of foresight who thought of the greater future needs of the country as a whole and for that reason, to them “Mfantsipim” meant the soul of the people and they wanted it to be accepted as such. To them it was in that School that the souls of the people of Ghana would mature.
By the end of 1907, however, amalgamation had not provided the panacea that was expected from it. When on 12th November, 1907 Reverend W.T. Balmer of the Methodist Church and principal of Richmond College. Ministerial training college in Freetown, Sierra Leone, arrived in Cape Coast on a tour of educational inspection to help improve secondary education in the West African countries, he found only eight (8) boys at Mfantsipim. The boys were meeting for mutual help as the school was without staff and headmaster. The last headmaster having left the country on 8th July, 1907 to go on leave. Reverend Balmer christened the boys the “Faithful Eight” and accepted to stay and take charge of the school as Headmaster. During the centenary celebrations of Mfantsipim in 1976, a monument was erected between the Administration Block and the Assembly Hall to perpetuate their memory. From the time it was moved to Mount Hope, near Victoria Park. In 1910 to present, Mfantsipim has maintained an enviable leading role in secondary education in Ghana and West Africa during the period it enjoyed the services and leadership of two distinguished Headmasters: Reverend R.A. Lockhart, and Mr. F.L. Bartels, a Ghanaian. Reverend Lockhart was headmaster from February, 1925 to March, 1936. He was tireless in his fight to get the British colonial government of the Gold Coast to accept responsibility for providing secondary education for an increasing number of the country’s children as sine qua non for the country’s progress. Through completing a £40,000 building programme he was able to move the school from Mount Hope to Kwabotwe with its enlarged intake in 1931. His constitution of Mfantsipim School Committee became the basis of many school constitutions in the country. As an educational administrator and innovator, he introduced uniforms for secondary school pupils; he substituted the single school session for the former two sessions of the day; he replaced the two-term school year with one of the three terms. He grasped and used to the full benefits of Africanisation by appointing to the school Staff his old boys to whom he offered facilities for in-service training and correspondence course to qualify as graduates.
Mr. Bartels, who became the first lay and an African Headmaster of Mfantsipim from September, 1949 to April, 1961, was one of the Lockhart era. There was a decidedly improved official policy in the matter of secondary education when Bartels took over Mfantsipim and took full advantage of the opportunity this offered him. He applied himself with intelligence, foresight and assiduity to the urgent question of expansion and development. From the beginning of the school where Picot was headmaster, until now, Mfantsipim has played a noble role in giving service and leadership to this country and the world at large.
The founding fathers of Mfantsipim desired that the school should inculcate in its boys mental discipline, mental honesty. Moral courage and above all the character which is worthy of the Christian foundation of the school.
The record of Mfantsipim is replete with achievements of the school and of its boys which exemplify these qualities but of course, it is not suggested, that every boy passing through Mfantsipim becomes automatically imbued with this combination of qualities.
The school runs a trimester programme. This starts in September in a year and ends in July in the next year. That is there are three (3) terms in a school year.
This is referred to as Bu-Ber in Fante. Period: September – December.
This is referred to as Adow-Ber Period: January – March/April
This is referred to as Eso-Ber – Period : April – July/August

a. General Science: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Elective Mathematics, Technical Drawing
b. General Arts: Economics, Geography, Crop Husbandry, French, History, Christian Religious Studies, Literature In English, Music, Elective Mathematics
c. Visual Arts: General Knowledge In Art, Ceramics, Elective Mathematics, Graphic Design, Picture Making
d. Technical Programmes: Technical Drawing, Metalwork, Physics, Elective Mathematics

Clubs and Societies
The school offers a wide range of clubs and societies. This is to ensure total education for the students. Every student is to belong to at least a club.
American Fields Service, Historical Society, Anglican Students Union, Horticultural and Beautification, Cadet Corps, Joyful Way Incorporated, Calvary Road Inc., Kwabrepon, Catholic Students Union, National Union of Presby Students, Child’s right, Preaching Group, Civic Education, Read Wide, Computer Club, Red Cross Society, Cultural club, Regimental Bank, Drama group, S.Y.T.O., Family Life Education Science Club, French, Scripture Union, Geographical Society, Sports Club, Ghana Methodist Students’ Union, Wildlife, Ghana Muslim Students’ Assoc., Writers’ and Debaters’ Club, GUNSA

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