The Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School (PRESEC), Legon, has conferred the Highest Grand Companion of the Touch Award on the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye.
The award, comprising a medallion gold chain and a special ‘Odade3’ sword, is in recognition of the Speaker’s immeasurable and generous contributions and dedication to the progress of his alma mater.
The award was conferred on Prof. Oquaye by a delegation from PRESEC, led by the Headmaster, Mr David Odjidja, at the Speaker’s Office in Parliament House yesterday.
During the school’s 80th anniversary celebration on November 30, 2019, similar awards were conferred on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Board Chairman of the school, Rev. Dr E. M. Markwei, and Mr Francis Biney, an old student of the 1990 Year Group.
A citation accompanying the award, which was read by the Assistant Headmaster in charge of Administration of PRESEC, Mr Emmanuel Akyeamvi, said: “The minute corn planted in the soil of the Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School in 1958 has grown into a giant oak tree.
You have distinguished yourself as an Odade3 by rising to become the Speaker of Parliament of the Republic of Ghana. And in your growing, you have never forgotten the mother that nursed you. You epitomise that indefatigable past student who is ever willing to respond to the call of his alma mater.
“Your sustained commitment to promote the image of PRESEC, Legon, and inspiring students to be life-long learners is manifested in your generous contributions towards the refurbishing of an ICT laboratory, building of an E-library, improvement in the lighting system in the school, the furnishing of the PRESEC Alumni Mentorship Centre, the setting up of the Odade3 Endowment Fund and the sponsoring of awards for staff and students,” it added.
In response, Prof. Oquaye urged the school to focus on achieving quality results and not just 100 per cent passes, saying that obtaining 100 per cent was no longer an achievement since many schools were also getting similar results.
“The quality of the results should be more important, and if half of the school is getting 8As, that is what we can boast about,” he said and urged the headmaster to introduce policies which would help monitor the success rate of teachers.
Prof. Oquaye also suggested that the school should place students’ WASSCE results on the notice board to help the students easily identify the subjects in which they were performing better as part of measures to put teachers on their toes.
He expressed happiness over PRESEC’s ability to maintain the high academic standards it had set for itself over the decades, an achievement which he said had made the alumni develop a keen interest in the affairs of the school.
“During our days, the school was virtually a collection of all head prefects of all Presbyterian and Salem junior high schools in the country. The materials for the school were strong and we need to maintain that standard.
“You have many people subscribing to the school, which means you have the opportunity to choose the best and do not be moved by other considerations in order to get the best to obtain the best results,” the Speaker advised.
Mr Odjidja said the school authorities would not compromise the discipline PRESEC was noted for and gave an assurance that “the Godly factor is still high on our agenda”.
“This is to ensure that students do not just go out with good grades; they should also be students who can fit well in society,” he said.
According to the headmaster, 17 of the candidates of the school who wrote the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) last year scored eight As, with many others obtaining six and seven As.
“This year, we want to make history, and that is an assurance we are giving to you, Mr Speaker,” he said, adding that the school was also poised to emerge the best in this year’s National Science and Maths Quiz.