Finishing work on Awutu-Winton Senior High School
Once EDP Trust had been set up and sufficient funds raised, building work recommenced. Civil engineer and old Africa hand Martin Moore was drafted in who, in collaboration with his architect friend John Burrell, drew up all the plans for the second phase of classrooms. Baffour Osei, an experienced civil engineer and businessman, recently returned from the UK, volunteered to carry out regular inspections and ensure that quality standards were maintained. A great amount of work was entailed; all given willingly and at no cost to the charity.
There were many other benefactors, too numerous to mention here. A huge container was purchased by Fiorelli and sat outside their warehouse for months, into which were deposited materials and donated equipment - computer hardware from Intel, furniture from a well-known hospital group, bicycles from far and wide, old textbooks, library books, footballs, second hand uniforms; the list goes on and on. When it was full to bursting Fiorelli paid to ship the container to Ghana where it now provides vital storage space outside our school.
Our original Project Manager, James Riggs, had worked tirelessly to get to this point, living in a chicken shed (yes, literally!) for over 12 months, travelling to Accra almost on a daily basis by tro-tro (dilapidated public minibus) and queueing for days outside government departments to get the necessary licences, recruiting teachers, buying in equipment, and generally trying to get his head round just how mammoth a project it really was.
The Grand Opening
So it was that the school opened its doors for business in October 2010, welcoming 105 students of varying ages. In theory they should be 14 when they enter Senior High School, but all were over 16 and some more than 20, having left Junior High with good results but few employment prospects because they could not afford to finish their education. What all these youngsters did have in common was their excitement at being there, and their determination to make the most of the opportunity on offer.
So much effort and generosity from so many different people have brought us to where we are today, with a thriving school population of around 320 pupils, two classroom blocks and the Valerie Dix Assembly and Exam Hall which was opened in November 2013, giving the school vital accreditation as an examination centre. The construction of a much needed new toilet block, which includes showers, has also been completed.
Since September 2014, our enthusiastic PE teacher Anthony Locco has been pushing students hard on the new sports pitch, which is looking spectacular. Next to this pitch is some land acquired thanks to a donation from a generous supporter- we are currently in the process of expanding the sports facilities and at some point will be building a student hostel to house students who come in from further afield.
And expansion is, of course, continuing. For more information on two very exciting infrastructure projects we are currently working on, go to the 'Facilties' page of the website.
We are working to broaden the scope of subjects available to our students.
From September 2016 we will offer an Elective Science course, and the potential for Visual Arts is also being discussed.
Fundraising efforts from the 2015 Great South Run, contributed towards internet at the school. Installation of internet at the school is a longer term goal as the rural location of AWSHS means internet access will be a significant project. The dongles purchased following the Great South Run have enabled teachers and students alike to utilise the internet in their teaching and learning. A longer term sustainable internet connection is a key priority for EDP.
As of 2017 we have a full school of 480 pupils. The expansion of infrastructure projects at the school has enabled us to reach more students, without compromising the classroom size or overall student experience.