Achimota School formerly Prince of Wales College and School, later Achimota College, now nicknamed Motown, is a co-educational boarding school located at Achimota in Accra, Greater Accra, Ghana.
The motto of the school is Ut Omnes Unum Sint meaning “That they all may be one”, a reference to the founders’ expressed philosophy that starting in the context of school life, black and white, male and female, everyone should integrate and combine synergistically for the good of all. The stylised piano-key design of the Achimota School crest was described by Aggrey at the time: “You can play a tune of sorts on the black keys only; and you can play a tune of sorts on the white keys only; but for perfect harmony, you must use both the black and the white keys
The school has educated many Ghanaian leaders, including Kwame Nkrumah, Edward Akufo-Addo, Jerry John Rawlings, and John Evans Atta Mills all of whom are former Heads of State of Ghana.
Former Prime Minister of Ghana, Kofi Abrefa Busia also taught at Achimota as a student/teacher and then staff.
Also included in its list of African heads of state are Zimbabwe’s second president Robert Mugabe and Sir Dawda Jawara, the first head of state of The Gambia.
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Guggisberg’s initiative to overhaul the Gold Coast educational system included the establishment of Achimota College. Guggisberg met and befriended native-born Dr. James Aggrey, who was working for the Phelps Stokes Fund’s African Education Commission in the Gold Coast in August 1920. Guggisberg appointed a committee to study the Phelps-Stokes Commission’s suggestions for Gold Coast school reform in 1922, as a result of the commission’s 1920 report. The establishment of a comprehensive institution at Achimota to provide general secondary education, teacher training, and technical education for male students was recommended by the committee. Thanks to the efforts and assistance of Chiefs such as Nene Sir Emmanuel Mate Kole, Konor of Manya Krobo; Nana Sir Ofori Atta, Omanhene of Akyem, Achimota College was founded.
The Colonial government intended to carry out its aim of establishing a high-quality secondary school where both teachers and pupils would be educated. The Legislative Council then approved the 1923–24 budget for the Prince of Wales College and School, and Guggisberg lay the foundation stone in March 1924. The first Principal was Rev. Alexander G. Fraser (1924–1935), and the first Vice-Principal was Dr. James Aggrey (1924–1927). Aggrey fought hard for women’s education at a period when it was unpopular, believing that educating a man was merely educating an individual, whereas educating a woman had far-reaching benefits for the family and community. As a result, the number of spots available to students has increased.
Achimota, originally known as the Prince of Wales College and School, was formally opened on 28 January 1927 by the then Governor of the Gold Coast, Sir Frederick Gordon Guggisberg. The guest of honour at the opening ceremony was Edward VIII, the then Prince of Wales, after whom the school was named.
The uniform iof the school has been made to project the ideals of the school to the populace.
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