The City of Kumasi Preparatory and Junior Secondary School was founded in 1966 by Nana Nkansa-Dwamena. It is situated on a site on the outskirts of Kumasi, which was donated by the late Otumfuo Osei Prempeh II the Asantehene. The aim was to provide a decent school for the Ayigya area, which was mostly inhabited by migrant workers who originated from the impoverished north of Ghana.
Nana Nkansa-Dwamena, who was a retired principal of a Teacher Training College, set up a school with the help of other retired headteachers. Within a couple of years he had created a vibrant school, which was designated by the Ghana Education Service as a Grade ‘A’ school.
The school is housed in three long single storey buildings. It offers 30 kindergarten places for children between the age of three and five years old. It is staffed by a teacher and an assistant. Children are given the opportunity to explore, investigate and experiment with a range of materials and to learn through play, based on a model developed by UNESCO. At the age of 5 years, children are admitted to the Primary Section, which has room for 200 pupils. They spend 6 years in this department before transferring to the Junior Secondary School at the age of 11 or 12 years. The Junior Secondary School has 150 pupils. The students follow a programme of study in eight examinable subjects, including English, math and science and two non-examinable subjects of music and physical education. The Junior Secondary School lasts for three years culminating in National Junior Secondary Examination at the end of the third year. On completion of their time at the Junior Secondary School, students are admitted to one of the many Senior Secondary Schools over the country.
Special Educational Needs (SEN)
The school’s SEN Policy is to provide a broad and balanced curriculum to all its pupils, taking into account the individual needs of each child. It is essential to ensure that we work in conjunction with other schools, so that we can exchange ideas, develop common policies, create structures which will enhance the integration of pupils with SEN into the mainstream, however limited the provision may be in the short-term. At present, the school has been able to provide wheelchair access to all parts of the school and to date we have two pupils who can use this facility. We have also provided small group teaching for a number of pupils with learning difficulties. Our future plans are to promote the use of white boards and good adequate lighting in all classrooms to ensure that we can admit pupils who are partially sighted.
We are now working closely with the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) to develop an understanding that parents should seek admission even though their child has a disability. At present, parents who have children with special educational needs often keep these children at home, knowing that there is no special provision available in most schools. It is also the fact that the marginalisation of these children is the norm.
In the absence of any national SEN policies, the only available provision is that offered at special boarding schools set up and run by Non-Governmental Organisations. Special provision is often set up without reference to national norms or legislations.
The school authority has a very close working relationship with the PTA. Both have proactively promoted the idea of giving equal education opportunities to children with SEN and they work especially to dispel the idea that children with handicapping conditions need not be educated, particularly if they are female. Discipline: every child, so that they are able to live and work with those around them. All children are encouraged to respect themselves, each other and their environment.