OFORI PANIN SECONDARY SCHOOL
FOUNDING: Ofori Panin Secondary School was established by the Ghana Education Trust (G.E.T.) of the Nkrumah government on 22nd September, 1961. The land for the school was provided by Nana Kena, chief of Kukurantumi and Adontenhene of Akim Abuakwa who later became Ghana's High Commissioner to India. The founding fathers christened it Tafo-Kukurantumi Secondary School-Takusec. The foundation stone of the building was laid on 19th may 1962 by Hon. Kofi Asante Ofori Attah, M.P. for Akim Abuakwa and Minister of Justice at that time. The school's name was then changed to Ofori Panin Secondary School (OPASS), which was in memory of Nana Ofori Panin, the great Akim Abuakwa chief who led his people down from the Adansi land to the present site.
Ofori Panin Secondary School was opened first with 14 boys and 4 teachers, including the first headmaster. After the first mid-term of the school, however, 12 girls were admitted to increase the number of students. All the girls became day students due to lack of rooms. In the second year, when the girls number had risen to 30 , they were admitted into the Boarding house with Mercy Akomeah as the first Girls' Prefect, and Lucy Temeng as the House Prefect. The girls' dormitory (at the site of the present library) was named Dokua house. Miss V. Awuah and Miss F. Antohene became the first Housemistresses. The boys used the present old block of the girls' hostel as their dormitory.
The school started as a Boarding Grammar School preparing students for the School Certificate and General Certificate of Education in Arts, Science and Home Economics. Business Education and Visual Arts were later included in the curriculum. The Motto of the School, "Dwen Na Som" means render service with a thoughtful mind. Among the pioneer teachers was Mr. R. Addo- Fening (History and Latin) now a Professor of History at the University of Ghana, Legon. Mr. V.B. Freeman (English); Miss V.D. Awuah (Twi, Geography, Art and Craft). During the first three years the staff helped in the founding of several clubs in the school. Prominent among them were the writer's Club and Dramatic Society (with Mr. V.B. Freeman as the Patron of both clubs), the Scripture Union, the Natural History Society and the Kwame Nkrumah Youth.
INITIAL PROBLEMS: During the early days of its establishment, students slept on the bare floor since there were no beds. In the night, they were welcomed by mosquitoes with their humming music. Besides, the entire compound was infested with wild, huge snakes.The first Headmaster, Mr. K-waku Adwedaa, stayed in town because his bungalow had not been completed. The only classroom block (now junior block) and the administration block were partially complete. Only two teachers' quarters had been completed.There was no water on campus and students had to go to New Tafo to fetch water. A typical village place of convenience was dug for students at the back of the classroom block. Added to these difficulties was the problem of light. Alladin lamps and lanterns were used for the first two years. The bathroom was fenced with palm branches.To keep the Compound tidy, students became labourers as well. They were forced to uproot four oil palm trees each before going for breakfast. While some students fell trees, others uprooted stumps. The school thus became a "Workers Brigade School " than a real secondary School.
ACHIEVEMENTS: Academic Performance -The ancient Greeks put it that “a healthy mind lies in a healthy body”. Really, OPASS jumped upon her success in Sports to achieve great laurels in academic work. The school’s performance at the external examinations at the then “O” and “A” level was worthy of emulations. It must be noted that the school’s excellent performance at “O” level made the government approve the introduction of the “A” level course in the school in 1974. Our school is now ranked among the best co-educational at second-cycle schools in the country.
Sports - It was through games and sports that Ofori Panin's name began to ring in the ears of many Ghanaians. For several years, the school became a thorn in the flesh of schools in the region. In 1962, Hilda Kwabua set the National 880 yards women record at 2 minutes 23.3 seconds during the inter-school and collegiate Athletic meet at the Accra Sports Stadium. She was presented with a gold medal and a trophy by the President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. This, together with other achievements, made Hilda Kwabua earn the epithet, "The pride of Ofori Panin". In 1966, the school won the Eastern Region soccer Trophy and in 1967 the table tennis team - Alex Boateng, Hayford Frimpong and John Otieku won the Eastern Region Championship. Also, John Otieku won a Gold Medal for Eastern Region in the 1969 National Day Games in Accra (Table Tennis-Doubles)
Academic Performance -The ancient Greeks put it that “a healthy mind lies in a healthy body”. Really, OPASS jumped upon her success in Sports to achieve great laurels in academic work. The school’s performance at the external examinations at the then “O” and “A” level was worthy of emulations. It must be noted that the school’s excellent performance at “O” level made the government approve the introduction of the “A” level course in the school in 1974. Our school is now ranked among the best co-educational at second-cycle schools in the country.