Rehabilitation of Philip Quarcoe Basic School long overdue

As part of his speech at the event organised in Cape Coast for the national celebration of the country’s 65th independence on Sunday, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced his government’s intention to rehabilitate the Philip Quaque Basic School in Cape Coast, the first elementary school established in Ghana (then Gold Coast) in 1765.

The Ghana Education Service (GES), therefore, says in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, it had commenced the necessary consultations with other stakeholders and work would begin soon to transform the school into a modern educational facility.

According to the GES, the school needed the necessary facelift to reflect the status of Cape Coast as the citadel of education in the country.

It expressed the hope that the rehabilitation of the facility would receive the necessary support from the local folks to ensure its success.

The rehabilitation of Philip Quarcoe Basic School would come as a relief to the chiefs and people of Cape Coast, as well as others who have been calling for it for decades now.

The dilapidated nature of the school has never been hidden from public knowledge.

For instance, on June 3, 2005, it was posted online that the Philip Quarcoe school had been neglected as a result of which it was in ruins.

Then almost a decade later on April 14, 2014, another report, this time on the history and importance of the school, also mentioned that the deterioration of the educational facility was worsening.

Philip Quarcoe Basic School is not just a school but a national monument in its own right because it is touted as a reminder of the country’s colonial past and the beginning of its true formal educational development. 

Oftentimes, one wonders why it takes too long for the political establishment, the custodian of all national properties, to take steps to rehabilitate state facilities till they are at the verge of collapse before the sector ministries come in to save the facilities and their own faces too.

It is not a good attribute to associate with Ghanaians that they do not have a culture of maintenance.

The problem rather is the unpatriotic and lackadaisical attitude state officials especially have towards anything belonging to the state.

This must change, especially with the issues about the Philip QuarcoeSchool coming at a time the country is still revelling in the celebration of its 65th independence anniversary.

The call of the GES on the local folks to ensure the successful rehabilitation of the school is in order because the April 2014 online report already alluded to talks about some unexpected acts by the people living in its neighbourhood.

The assistant head teacher at the time, Mr Emmanuel Narh Huago, said residents around the school had converted its sewage reservoir into a refuse pit and were fighting all efforts by the school to stop the negative act.

Mr Huago also complained of a heap of rubbish with human excreta right behind the school’s kitchen used for the school feeding programme, which rubbish attracted all kinds of scavengers in addition to the offensive odour it emitted.

He also said the residents fetched water from the school’s standpipe but did not help to pay the bills, making it difficult for the school to pay them alone as a result, water supply was cut.

It is the hope of the Ghanaian Times that the people of Cape Coast would recognise the importance of the Philip Quarcoe school, resist all acts that are not in its interest and rather do all they can to see a rehabilitated educational facility that is befitting of tourist attraction once it is situated in the vicinity of the Cape Coast Castle.

The rehabilitation of Philip Quarcoe Basic School should prompt the GES and the Ministry of Education that they have to take the audit of all dilapidated public basic schools across the country, if that has not done already, and give them the necessary facelift.

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