The Ghana Secondary Technical School (GSTS) Alumni Association of North America (GAA) successfully raised a net amount of about $22,000 as they celebrated their 10th Anniversary and Annual Convention at a Fundraising Dinner Dance themed ‘The Role of the GAA – The Past, Present and the Future’. This happened on Saturday, July 22, 2017, in the United States (US) at the Marriott Fairview Park in Falls Church, Virginia.
The amount raised was part of the launch of a major fundraising effort to raise $200,000 for the first phase of a sanitation project involving the construction of new bathrooms and toilet facilities aimed at helping improve sanitary conditions. Long term projects will see the implementation of a solar electric project to power the school, and laboratory and workshop modernization among other critical infrastructure upgrades within the school which was established on August 9, 1909.
[Below is a Facebook video of the Fundraiser Dinner-Dance]
Mr. Samuel K. Essel, the present Headmaster of GSTS and Wing Commander William K. Kekrebesi ’71 and ’73 (Rtd), the President of the GAA were keynote speakers at the event.
In his welcome address, Giant Dr. Emmanuel (Lee) Idun, a structural engineer urged all alumni, parents, and friends of GSTS to give generously to help provide top class education for current and future students of GSTS.
Several old students of GSTS — known as ‘Giants’ while having fun, enthusiastically donated to their alma mater during the event. This included the special guest Commodore Steve Obimpeh (Rtd) of ’61 year group who is a former Navy Commander and Minister for Health and Agriculture in Ghana. Other major donors were Giant Mr. Charles Kumi ’76, Giant Mr. Charles Nkrumah Ofori ’73, Giant Dr. Ernest Ofori-Darko MD ’78 ’80 and Giant Professor Yaw D. Yeboah ’69 ’71 who is Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the GAA.
In an interview with TheAfricanDream.net, Giant Commodore Steve Obimpeh (Rtd) said he was really excited to have been part of this year’s event. The occasion gave him an opportunity to know at firsthand the difficulties the school faces while at the same time, inspiring him to become a part of the solution.
“At the time we were in GSTS there were just about 252 students, today the student population is over 2000”, said Commodore Obimpeh who felt that due to the low number of students at his time “we were provided with everything we needed, and that allowed us to focus more on our studies which resulted in the school producing some of the best persons that have played pivotal roles in the development of Ghana.”
The Commodore felt excited to be part of those rekindling the spirit of the GAA as it was time to give back to help raise the image of the school so an appreciable level of comfort could be provided to its students today to allow them to focus more on their academics.
Giant Charles Nkrumah Ofori shared Commodore Obimpeh’s sentiment and told TheAfricanDream.net that he is now a Certified Public Accountant running his own firm in the Washington DC area because of the strong foundation he received from GSTS. Today “I am here to try to help the school to become much better…” Giant Ofori went on to advise students of the school today to realize that “there is something magical about GSTS and that once you left the school, it was expected of you to do well with yourself, so take whatever you are learning seriously no matter what academic discipline you are engaged in.”
A significant thing about the 10th anniversary event was the increased number of participation of old students which according to Giant Prof Yeboah was very important because “if we have a lot more people participating always, then no matter how small an amount they give it could become a big figure when put together in the end.”
The BOT Chairman is famed for becoming the first person to receive four separate degrees in four years from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1975 after he had won a scholarship upon completing his studies at GSTS in 1971. Giant Professor Yeboah has over 3 decades of academic research, leadership and teaching experience in project management and chemical engineering from prestigious academic and professional institutions across the US.
He told TheAfricanDream.net who were media partners for the event, that, his four-degrees-in-four-years feat at MIT was solely attained on the back of “very hard work”, he explains: “There is really no secret behind it, it was really all about lots of hard work, plus I was lucky to have had a very good foundation from GSTS, which I very much appreciate to this day.”
As a token of the school’s appreciation of the GAA, the school’s Headmaster presented the North America Alumni Chapter with a Citation and also invited all of its members to attend the 108th edition Speech-and-Prize-Giving day in Ghana come November 2017. He was also thankful to the GAA for organizing tours of some US high schools during his visit. According to him, this has opened up opportunities for collaborations and sharing of ideas that could be used for professional development of teachers and staff as well as to administer the school in general.
GSTS which is the third oldest school in Ghana turned 108 years in 2017. The school is a Science and Technology oriented high school that has been at its present location in Takoradi, Ghana since 1939. It was called Accra Technical School when it was first founded in 1909. It then became the Government Technical School and then, Government Secondary Technical School until 1970 when it got renamed as Ghana Secondary Technical School. Enrolled students are called Tescans. More information about the school is available at www.gsts-takoradi.org
GAA- North America was formed to foster growth, academic, and infrastructure development as well as student motivation at their alma mater. It is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit entity in the US. For more information about their activities, to contact them or to donate visit www.gstsnorthamerica.com
Written by Oral Ofori / #TheAfricanDreamLLC