Ghana Together works with our Ghanaian friends of Western Heritage Home, a Ghanaian-registered and managed non-profit, to improve social, educational, and health conditions in Axim, Ghana. Together we accomplish projects, connect WHH to resourceful individuals and organizations, and create sustainable programs. We make a real difference to real people in a local, grassroots effort. Our website at tells our story.

May 21, 2012

Axim, Ghana All-Girls Senior High School Absorbed into Ghana Education System

Nearly seven years ago, when we first began working in Axim, we heard the dreams of local leaders about establishing a new “all-girls high school.” 

In the last few days, we have been informed that the new Axim All-Girls Senior High School, started by local Axim leaders as a "town project" in 2009, has now been fully absorbed into the Ghana Education System. This means it’s a fully-recognized high school, with graduates accredited by the GES, teachers hired and paid by the government of Ghana, and the national curriculum the same as for other established high schools in Ghana. Student test scores will be fully accepted.
All the Axim All-Girls High School Students - Feb 2012
A new public high school building is in the making on land donated by the Catholic Church under the leadership of Fr. Paul Awuah, a dedicated community leader. The school is currently meeting in another of the church-owned schools. An oil company operating in Ghana has indicated interest in building a new hostel, so girls from other areas or beyond walking distance can attend.
Starting Construction of New Girls High School
This is a momentous achievement especially for Mrs. Bonku, who, as the Founding Headmistress, took on the major responsibility of starting a new high school from scratch! She is a dedicated educational leader, starting as a JHS vocational teacher, moving into HR administration for the Nzema-Axim District, and currently serving as Founding Headmistress charged with starting a new high school.

Other leaders who somehow found funding and the political support, both at the local and national levels, include Awulae Attibruskusu, Paramount Chief; Ana “Esi” Biney, District Assembly Woman and Chair of the local committee; James Kainyiah, Development Chief and businessman; Isaac Bentil, local community leader and businessman; and many others.

On right, Mrs. Bonku, Founding Headmistress of Axim All-Girls High School (with Maryanne Ward of Ghana Together)
Chief Awulae set the theme of the September 2011 Kundum Festival as “Girls Education”. The Vice-President of Ghana came to Axim to voice his support. Those of our readers who met Awulae in Washington State summer 2011 probably remember his remarks about his determination to improve girls education.
Chief Awulae Attibrukusu, Axim's modern, tech-savvy traditional Chief, sending emails from the Ward home in the US back to his assistant in Axim. Girls: your Chief is your role model!!
The teachers also must be acknowledged, because each took a career gamble by joining the effort with no guarantee of future success. Catherine Afeku, Member of Parliament, showed strong support.
This has been entirely a locally-conceived project, with years of working to find funding and political support on the part of local leaders. Ghana Together has not been directly involved in this project. Mostly, we just bring scientific calculators (a scarce and precious learning tool in Ghana!) and encouragement.
When Maryanne Ward was in Axim in Feb, 2012, she helped arrange a visit to Axim by the Admissions Officers of Ashesi University, organized on the US model of higher education. They met with the Axim Girls HS and other students in the area--the first such recruiting type visit by any university to Nzema East District!
You might well ask: Why is an “all-girls” high school needed in Axim?
First, there is no other government high school in the town of maybe 15-20,000 souls. Nsein High School, the nearest, is some distance. Girl education is a top priority in Ghana. The 2003 Population Census for the Nzema East District showed only 7.6% females of 6+ years had finished high school. About 1.9% had tertiary education. Adult literacy for females 15+ years was 44%. Of females 6+ years, 64% had never attended school. Currently in Axim, among primary students, there are about the same number of boys and girls enrolled, so they are making good progress.
Study hard, girls---who knows what your futures could hold!!

Since many of the leaders involved in this project are the very same people we of Ghana Together have been working with for going on seven years now, you can understand how as friends we share their pride!!