SPACO – A MONTH TO SIXTY YEARS ANNIVERSARY
I was in a car from Tokor to Ho and a banner was hanging right in front of the SPACO gate advertising the Sixtieth Anniversary of the only male SHS in South of Volta. Though small in size, I was able to see the writings on the banner.
Six decades ago, Reverend Father J. Caffrey on the direction of Bishop Konings start a boy school in the Southern Sector of the then Keta- Ho Diocese. Father Caffrey was later joined by Reverend Father Seemers, who became the co- administrator of the school. The school has grown with several successes and several challenges.
The riots of the 80s , the inability to make Mr. J. Y Deku the Headmaster culminating into he leaving to Ketasco with so many students accompanying him , the water crisis of late 90s , the introduction of girls, the reversal to single sex school and the recent riot are all historical facts worth documenting about the school.
Two decades ago, I was privileged to join my twin brother and two other class mates from Huime JSS to St Paul’s Secondary School. I can remember vividly what happened on the first day of our entry into the school that for the last twenty years helped to shape the lives of young, focusless and innocent children unleashed onto the Hatsukorpe Community.
My batch was privileged to be in school with Six Formers and I have always argued later that it was a very bad decision to phase out the Old System in Ghana.
Earlier in life, I had an unprintable memory of SPACO Soccer Players who dared to play Rainbow Stars Football Team at Aflao Agbawoeme and this was happening around 91 or 92. The mere sight of the Boneshaker and the display of soccer skills were motivating enough to decide on St Paul’s after BECE. There were people from our area already in SPACO and I believe the match was arranged by them. Paul Alossode, Dzenyo Maradona, Nico , Aki and the likes.
The academic culture in SPACO has been a competitive one. We got to SPACO at the time there was a very sharp division among the teaching staff. We lacked clear directions because the gap between teachers and students was so wide. There was actually nobody to direct us on our academic and career path. The only advice we heard over and over was STUDY HARD STUDY HARD STUDY HARD.
As to why we should study hard, there was nobody to tell us.
One teacher who taught my class ND we cannot forget is Ricky Amedonu. He was handling Economics. He was purely a committed teacher. Another is Mr.Joseph Adampah. They really supported our class with the right tools.
EXTERNAL ACADEMIC COMPETITION
In recent times, schools are using the Science and Maths Quiz to re-brand their schools. The Science Department needs massive support.
Government has also introduced History Quiz for 81 days nationwide to be started in January 2018. St Paul’s has been selected to be part of the ten school delegates from Volta Region to this Quiz Competition. Let us see how the school will use this academic platform to sell the school.
I met him only once and last. Before I met him, the School Administration summoned the entire school and abused the student leadership for initiating a contribution among Form One Students for the acquisition of a modern Public Address System.
The student leadership on their own day summoned the entire student body. Then he mounted the stage. I am referring to the Senior Prefect of the school. He spent time condemning the Headmaster and the administration for encroaching on their rights to initiate their projects. I never believed a student leader can do such a thing. Conqueror Sampson , SP made our day that morning.
Conqueror Sampson can lead his powerful batch made up of Livingstone Ocloo, KKB, Adebona, Evance Dzokandah, Patrick Kukanu, , Sosu, Johnson Koffie Kporha Escoba, Raymond Kwaku Atisu etc. to supply the school with an ultra modern PA System.
Another greatest moment was the conquest of all schools in 1996 to represent Volta Region at the National Milo Games. The venue was our own campus. Mawuli Players came to the pitch all shaving their heads (Sakora). They were bent on defeating us. Marcus, Gomado Jones, Yao , Ashitey, Late Robert etc…..were in the team. Who can recollect what happened to the Milo they brought from National?
Finally, I got to the school around 7:20 am. I met the Senior Housemaster at the school gate. He asked me to go and bring my twin brother. When we got to him, he gave 12 strokes of cane to my twin brother and gave me 4. He mixed us up. Troubles with identical twins!
That day, we woke up early from Hatsukorpe to go and sweep our plots. The moonlight so clear. We didn’t check our time. The current Headmaster,then our Maths teacher came out to say we should go back to our house. It was 2 am. Inability to sweep your plots can be so serious an offence at the time…!
I don’t know of today.
In 90s, these names were common in secondary schools #Kesetsu (Mr.Ahafianyo of Spaco), #Tiger (Mr.Nyamadi of Ketasco) and Gidigasu of Biheco. They were not timorous souls. Their intentions were clear: to straighten young children who were going astray.
In SPACO, Mr. Ahafianyo was an embodiment of discipline. His name invokes fear and panic. He was an omnipresent figure. He can emerge at a ‘crime’ scene and got students to urinate on themselves out of fear. In 1996, a student decided to remove all louvre blades in his dormitory and send home. But he was not lucky courtesy Mr.Ahiafianyo. He was made to carry a chop box full of louvre blades from Laklivikorpe to the school compound. There and then ,he was dismissed.
Mr.Ahafianyo seemed to know every student at the time. He was all powerful. He was bold. He slaps sometimes to put deviants to order. At the end of the day, every student celebrated him.
Anytime old students visit him in his home town, Agbozume, I always say thank you.
He needs to brought back to spend a whole day talking to younger ones on how he was able to manage Six Formers and SSS men and boys.
We were taught discipline. We were disciplined but one thing we lack is giving back to our mother.
OLD students of St Paul’s are dangerously shying away from their own school. Their passion for the neglect is so serious. Only few are committed. You can hear successful old students say they were treated well while in school. Big Schools exist because old students have decided to make it so. I personally experienced few mistreatments together with my brother but our decision that all our family members who are male should only attend SPACO has not
For how long are we going to allow only few old students to be supporting the mother who gave birth to all of us ? You need not be rich person to help your school.
Now to the Church
Keta Akatsi Diocese has been playing significant roles in SPACO. The Seminary is a good example. Another example is the availability of powerful chaplains over the years to shape our lives.
But how many Catholics in Keta – Akatsi Diocese know that SPACO is their baby? I have a very strong feeling that the Church can do a lot to raise St Paul’s to the status of other Catholic schools like St Augustine’s, Opoku Ware and Pope John’s.
There are a lot Catholic parents who are not ready to send their children to SPACO. They don’t want to take risk. I have listened to some members of the church who have expressed serious reservations about their own school.
I believe the old students and the Church will take the 60th Anniversary of the school to help rebrand.
I went to a wedding program of a conqueror. After travelling the whole of the morning to the wedding ground, I was shocked to see SPOSA missing on the program. In order of photography, no space was provided for conquerors. Surprisingly, the bride happened to come from a school as small as SS Peter and Paul Amalgamated Basic School in Aflao. A slot was given to the old students of that basic school -like SHS. I saw for thirty minutes to get over the shock and I went out.
I have received calls from old students wanting to get admission for their children in KETASCO , Biheco , Anseco, Mawuli etc. though SPACO offered them admission.
Finally, I have listened to old students flatly denying they attended SPACO. It got me overgasted and flabberwhelmed.
Friends of Conquerors at work places are always proud of their schools. We have the men all over.
I have penned down some Ghanaians who passed through Hatsukorpe for their secondary education and i know we have hundreds of prominent Ghanaians who have made it to the top but their names not captured below: Torgbui Adzonugaga Amenya Fiti V, Professor Akpabli, Dr. Louis Doamekpor of Chemistry Department, Legon, Sesi Dzakpasu, Frank Kofi Ayivor of MTN, Justin Amenuvor of GBA and GLC ,Lawyer Col. Rtd. Justice F. Fiankor, Justice Char(formerly of EOCO), Kofi Akpabli CNN award winner, Lawyer Saviour Agbenyegah, Dr. Egbefome Adolph Mensah, Livingstone Ocloo, Foster Nanewortor, Bless Atoklo, Victor Way Kuvodu of Public Services, Officers of the Armed Forces like Fiafor, Elikem Fiamafle , Vitashie, Gabriel Mawuli Agboado and others …… Jerome Katsekpor, Amuzu Prince , Dr. Joseph Joe Xorse Kugbe, Dr. Shepherd Lartey Agbadi , Senior security experts Seth Eyako Kukubor, Adolf Tito Dogbey,Efo Seth , Bob 1000, Sorkpor etc
Nellis Vortia, Lawyer Evans Dzikunu Gadeto, Richard Ekor of KOICA, Lambert Zormeloof African Mining Services, Kwasi Zigah of Petrosol, Albert Kwasi ziga (former MP), Kpozo Patrick Kpozo (professional footballer), Addo Testimony Nhyira, Peter Addo-adotey, Deo Govina of Ecobank , Solo Kumordzie, Prof.Double Double, Ebenezer Torkoonoo of Daily Graphic, Voice-Tozo Kokoroko, Kofi B. Kukubor of Oxy Energy, Dr. Amuzu Sodoke(DCE for Akatsi North), Reverend Dr. Kofi Appiah of UCC, Dr. Ahiakpor of UCC, James Macarrious Henyoh, Carruthers Kwaku Dzramedo and his bro, Kukanu Patrick, Simon Deku, Azaglo Martin , Faith Dominic Koku, Gershon Edem Cudjoe, Hlordzedor Issac, Gborglah Dennis, Dr. Kwame Selasi, Dr. William Degbey,Abraham Honest, George Komlah,Innocent Senyo ,Seth Seth Cephas, Innocent Bedie, Hamorabi Agbodo Paul, Hon Samuel Petit Haligah, Thunder Christian yevunya,Yevunya Peter, PRO of EC Eric Dzakpasu, Ben Alaglo, Alossode Paul,
#NAME THE REST FOR ME OOOO
If all who passed through this great school can show a little interest, SPACO can be back.
Since I left SPACO, there are few old students who have been very consistent in showing interest in SPACO affairs.
We have always been amazed by the level of contributions of our colleagues towards their Alma Maters. Biheco, Mawuli School , Ola and Ketasco are still strong because of the contributions of their old students to the development of their schools.
What St Paul’s old students are doing now is not enough. We can’t allow only few year groups to be sacrificing for the school. Let us be proud of SPACO. Let us be proud of our Alma Mater.
SPACO, VINCE IN BONO MALUM
CREDIT. Foga Nukunu