Odoi Atsem memorial
preparatory School, La, Ghana
Odoi Atsem Memorial Preparatory School was set up to help provide quality education in a deprived community in Ghana. Quality education means the inclusion of African centred knowledge that would expand the general educational syllabus as well as broaden students’ cultural and historical understanding of their identity. The PEN Network recognises the importance of a general educational curriculum (English grammar and comprehension, Maths, Basic Science, Moral and Religious Education provided by the school) but the development of an educational programme that has at its heart the interests of African cultural, social and economic advancement is its main reason for supporting this school.
The school’s Head Master is Mr Percy Gogoe. There are 11 teachers who share the teaching of the curriculum. One of the teachers, Kwame Sam, says, “although there has been a few support initiatives by some charitable religious organizations, who have helped the kids by providing occasional school supplies like story books, exercise books and pens and pencils, like Oliver Twist, far more is needed to raise the standard of the school.” The most pressing need of the school, he says, “is payment of salaries which rely on students’ ability to pay the tuition fees; but also the completion of maintenance works which has already started. This includes provision of adequate desks for the growing number of pupils and also the cementing (concreting) of the classroom floors.”
Georgia, Araba, Nicole & Alysha - volunteers and performers at the Fundraising dinner and Dance. A Bernadette Wills Photo
The school is located in La, close to the La palm and La beach hotels. It is also walking distance from the International Trade Fair Centre in Accra. Despite the affluence of the location, Odoi Atsem was set up because there was no school in this particular community. On one side of this famous coastal area where business people and tourists gather to take advantage of Ghana’s thriving economy, poverty affects families who cannot afford the general high school fees in many private schools.
Work in progress
We want to raise funds for the completion of the school's infrastructure, including the roof, the toilet facilities and waste disposal system. The waste disposal system will help with drainage from stagnant waters, which breed mosquitoes and the risk of malaria. The children do not complain. They are happy to be at school, no matter what the conditions. But we believe we can help them learn in a much better environment and are seeking your support to achieve this.
Following the PEN Network's fundraising dinner and dance in 2015, Odoi Atsem Memorial Preparatory school have started improvements to their school.
Teacher Kwame Sam says: "It will interest you to know that we've started to put the funds into some serious good use....we've paid salaries to all the teachers for the month of October, we also purchased about 15 new furniture desk for the entire class rooms...and the bulk of the work is on renovation of the entire school structure from demolition of the worn out woods to blocks & brick design. finally some very needy pupils are enjoying free scholarship,feeding & provision of free school supplies. big thank you for the entire PEN NETWORK CREW..."