AFC and Clubhouse Ltd hurl in a lifeline for first nursery school

Mr. Adjei-Ampofo cuts the ribbon to signify handover of the refurbished school

A collaborative initiative by the Accra Financial Centre (AFC) and Clubhouse Ghana Limited has infused a fresh lease of life into the aging Queen Elizabeth II Educational Foundation, known to be the first nursery school to be established in the country.

The two organisations on Tuesday, handed over refurbished school infrastructure and equipment worth US$12,000 to the Administrator of the 74-year-old early childhood learning institution, putting smiles on the faces of the pupils, staff and school authorities.

Queen Elizabeth II Educational Foundation is a private community school established in 1950 when Lady Arden-Clarke, wife of the last Governor of the then Gold Coast, Sir Charles Noble Arden-Clarke, led philanthropists to build an educational facility for children which, at the time, became known as the Accra Day Nursery.

Clubhouse Ghana Limited
Pupils and School Staff join officials of AFC and Clubhouse Ghana for a pose after handing over

The Accra Day Nursery, the very first of its kind in the country, was then entrusted to the local community under the auspices of the overlord of the Gbese people on whose soil the institution was located. The school’s name changed to ‘Queen Elizabeth II Educational Foundation’ in 1961 after the British monarch, accompanied by Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, paid a historic visit to children at the school.

Operating just a crèche and a Kindergarten in its prime years, the school is said to have enrolled a large number of children of notable individuals as well as children of successful traders at the erstwhile Makola Market nearby.

Over the years, the school advanced from its purely nursery status and went into the full stretch of primary and basic education, serving mostly families in the Gbese community, children and dependents of Makola traders as well as some market porters.

Unfortunately, in recent years, facilities at the school, particularly at the nursery department which currently caters for over 150 pupils, have been rendered completely decrepit, mainly due to the lack of financial and logistical support.

Team leaders for the CSR initiative, Mrs Janet Ghartey of the Accra Financial Centre and Alice Esi Coleman of Clubhouse Ghana Limited, said they were ‘deeply touched’ by the level of disrepair at the nursery school when they made their first contact with school authorities and inspected the existing infrastructure last year.

The two organisations subscribe to a common policy of promoting basic education whenever possible and once the need for support was established for Queen Elizabeth II Educational Foundation, it took barely two months to transform the rundown school into a new and refreshing facility worthy of its enviable history.

The entire building block which accommodates a Crèche and two streams of Kindergarten, saw remarkable refurbishing works, as the roofing and ceilings were refit, fans were installed, floors were re-tiled, a new modern washroom – all set with five water closet toilet units, handwashing sinks, a bathroom for the infants and one additional W/C toilet for the teaching staff were installed. New tables and chairs were provided and a cupboard and individual storage nooks were built for stowing learning materials and personal effects of the children.

(Flashback) – Dr Nkrumah and the late Queen Elizabeth during their visit to the school in 1961

“For us, it is an honour to be of some help to this great school. As part of our commitment to give back to society, we tried to identify some of the most pressing needs of this school so we may help in solving them. Today, we are delighted to hand over a completely refurbished facility to you,” Mr. George Adjei-Ampofo, the Regional Head, West Africa, of Lango Real Estate, said as he cut the ribbon to signify the handing over of the refurbished facility.

In his comment of gratitude, Mr. Ebenezer Tetteh Nartey, the School Administrator said, the gesture would go a long way to enhance the academic quality and status of the school.

“Nursery education is the bedrock of education in general and we are determined to build a sound foundation to support our basic schools. You will see greater things to come because our vision is to develop into the Senior High School level; when that time comes, we look forward to getting support from you,” said Mr. Nartey.

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