Today, Opoku Ware School, Saint John’s School and Archbishop Porter Girls take the spotlight as we navigate and illuminate how these three schools were established in Ghana.
According to one of Ghana’s outstanding historians, Lawyer Yaw Anokye Frimpong, the first individual to start a secondary school in the then Gold Coast specifically Elmina was Elizah Jacob Boose Capitaine.
When the then King of the Ashanti Kingdom, Opoku Ware of blessed memory heard of the establishment, he sent his subjects to learn from Jacob Boose as he believed in the power of education.
This move endeared him to a lot of people as they believed he was as good as a saint for seeking education for his subjects.
He furthered that in 1952, a Catholic Missionary, Archbishop Porter came to Ghana to establish three schools which he named one after himself; Archbishop Porter Girls’, one after his father Saint John’s School in Sekondi and the third after Opoku Ware after an advice from Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
In Lawyer Yaw Anokye’s words, “The first person to have started a school in the Gold Coast and possibly the entire African continent; the south of the Sahara is Elizah Jacob Boose Capitaine at Elmina. Immediately he established the school, Opoku Ware hurriedly registered Ashanti children to benefit from the knowledge of Jacob and that was the wisdom of Opoku Ware.
“That was the reason why in 1952, Archbishop Porter, a Catholic missionary came to Ghana to establish two schools. One, he named it after himself’ Archbishop Porter. One he named after his father; Saint John’s School in Sekondi and the third one, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who was a great friend of the then Asantehene, Prempeh II called him and told him that your great great ancestor called Opoku Ware was wise enough to have called and sent pupils to Jacob Boose Capitaine to be educated so this man will not be different from anybody whose name is in the Bible. He too was religious. He too understood education and was a great warrior. So, tell the Catholic missionaries that that school in Kumasi should not be given any saint saint name. Ghana too has got its saint and that person comes from your own and that’s how we Opoku Ware Secondary School in Kumasi,” he said.