For many people, especially those not from the ‘Keta – Anloga – Aflao axis’, Keta Senior High Technical School (KETASCO) is a new school.
But for the thousands who have passed through its gates either as students or parents, the school is an epitome of what an educational institution should be and also as the pioneer teachers, headmaster and administrators meant it to be. Those who came after the pioneers, including the current generation, have, therefore, built upon the foundation laid on February 27, 1953.
And the men on whose shoulders this arduous task fell were Nathan A. Quao, the pioneer Headmaster, assisted by S.D. Sorkpor.
The duo had to teach the pioneer class of 25, 17 boys and eight girls – in the rented Kudzawu House, opposite the Electricity Company of Ghana offices in Dzelukope, where the school was first located.
How it began
Ketasco started as a day school to cater for the large numbers of pupils from the many elementary schools located between Keta and Anyanui, and beyond.
The school was to provide secondary education for prospective students, who, due to their parents’ financial situation, could not be sent to the far-flung secondary schools located in Cape Coast especially, and other urban areas.
The new school was primarily aimed at bridging that gap by providing higher education for the young men and women in the area.
With Rev. Dr F.K. Fiawoo as the chairman of the board of governors, no stone was left unturned as the pioneer students and teachers tried to create something worthy of its name as a high school for posterity.
In 1956, the first batch passed out successfully. This singular achievement shot our alma mater into the limelight as a place of excellence. That record has been built upon, placing Ketasco among the top 10 secondary schools in the country within its 60 years of existence.
From an initial student population of 25, the school now caters for more than 2,600 students and is still achieving more academic laurels by the day.
The school benefitted from Kwame Nkrumah’s education reforms whereby with funds from the Cocoa Marketing Board and the Ghana Education Trust, a permanent site was acquired for it to leave Kudzawu House for its present and permanent location.
On November 4, 1960, Komla Agbeli Gbedemah, a Finance Minister in Nkrumah’s government, laid the foundation stone for the permanent campus and this was followed by a visit by the Osagyefo himself on December 21, 1960. This visit was marked by the president planting an Indian almond tree, which is still flourishing.
Like all secondary schools, Ketasco has fulfilled the plan by the founding fathers. The idea behind the school was to build it on the lines of Achimota School, whereby a pupil can start from the crèche and continue to the SHS level and this precisely has been achieved.
The school now offers programmes in General Arts, Business, General Science, Vocational, Visual Arts, Technical and Agriculture, making it a multi-discipline school.
Products of the school
The school has also produced its fair share of eminent and distinguished Ghanaians who are serving in various positions, both locally and internationally.
Names that readily come to mind include (Military) Lt General Ben Akafia (retd), Commander K. T. Dovlo (retd), Air Commodore Codjoe Gamadeku (retd), Col. Agbleta, the Late Major Courage Quashigah, Brigadier (Dr) Paul Kponyoh (retd), Colonel (Dr) Chris Agbeka and a host of others.
In academia, Keta Senior High Technical School has also made its mark in the lives of Prof. J.K. Amuzu, Prof. Atsu Aryee, Prof. Dotseyvi Sogah (Cornel University), Dr and Mrs Tagbor of USA and BRRI, Kumasi; Prof. Godffrey Amedofu (KNUST), Dr Abloh and many more.
In healthcare, the school has produced its fair share of medical personnel. They include Dr Kodzo Nyonator, McDamien Dedzo, Kofi Gafatsi Normanyo and Koku Awoonor.
In commerce, industry and other professions, the school has produced such stalwarts as A.A. Ajavon (CEO, Chemico Ltd, Tema and Tema International School, Dr Bernard Glover (Cisneros Hotel, Sogakope), Aseye Tay (CEO Bytes & PC World), Chris Arcmann-Ackumey, Grace Amey-Obeng (FC Perfumery), Nikki Boa-Amponsem ( 2nd Image), Bella Ayayee-Ahu (CEO, Traffix Restaurant and Cook Art Ghana) among others.
With inspiration from the old students, the present-day crop of students are all living up to the school’s billing as a centre of academic excellence. In 1978, when the school celebrated its Silver Jubilee, it recorded 100 per cent passes at both the Ordinary and Advanced Levels.
In 2011, there were 79 distinctions with 55 by the girls. This is not an isolated case but a regular occurrence, as for example in 1992, 1993, and 1995 the school had 100 per cent passes at the Ordinary level while the Advanced level had 97 per cent.
From 2000 to present, the school has been scoring quality 100 per cent passes and in 2009/10 the school found itself among the best 10 secondary schools in the country.
Despite these achievements, the school still faces problems, the most obvious being the lack of an assembly hall. The old one is in such a state that it poses a risk to students and the teachers. A plan to build a modern 2,500 auditorium befitting the school is going according to schedule and actual construction has started.
Having achieved this remarkable success within six decades is something both students, past and present, and the staff take pride in because there are long-established schools that have all the facilities they need but are yet to rise to the occasion.
Thus students of the school, popularly called Lokpodzi University, with the motto: ‘Dzo Lali’ (Now or Never) can also take pride in the fact that their school has surpassed the founders’ dream of an academic institution that would serve the interest of local residents; thanks to the tenacity of the staff and the past students who have continued to support their alma mater. We salute a great school.