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Pamela’s Article: Going to a New School as a Girl in Ghana

Article #7 in the YCC Kids Club Ghana Student Life Stories Project
My First Day at Covenant Preparatory School

By Agbi Pamela, Age 14

“That school is full of witches and wizards!” was what people said about Covenant Preparatory School. “Don’t go!”

But I decided to enroll anyway. My mother had explained well how switching to Covenant would enhance my education.

Pamela, the student author of this piece.
Pamela, the student author of this piece.

In Ghana education, there are two main types of schools: public, government-run schools (which I had been attending previously), and private schools like Covenant.

Public schools are free, though students must pay for their own uniforms, shoes, and school supplies. Private schools charge a fee, which is a different amount for each school.

Covenant charges thirty Ghana Cedis ($20 U.S. Dollars) per term, and there are three terms in a year. My mother explained to me that this financial burden would be an investment in my future. Covenant Preparatory School, built in the year 2000, is the highest school in South Tongu, Ghana in terms of academic performance.

A school in Ghana.
A school in Ghana.

But my mother still had some worries.

On our way to my first day at Covenant school, my mum told me something. She said, “Know how to walk with your friends.”

I replied, “Mum, what do you mean?”

My mum answered, “Know how to eat with your friends means know how to act right so you don’t attract some witches. ‘Cause if you attract some witches, I will cut you into pieces.” My mother was serious.

The first time I stepped my foot onto the Covenant campus, I was scared because the school was large. Covenant has two buses, a volleyball field, and fences painted ash and blue with drawings of animals such as leopards and lions. I was happy because the school’s name was everywhere.

Pamela saying hello.
Pamela saying hello.

I was still in my old government school uniform: blue and white, so I was odd among my new classmates. However, for God having been so kind, I found many friends those first few weeks who did not think me odd.

My first day at Covenant school went well, but in the afternoon it came time to board the school bus home for the first time. I was feeling ashamed because the students were pushing their friends. I thought to myself, “How will I board the bus? I am new to the people.”

But then I realized that if I just stood there telling myself that I was feeling shy, I would still be standing on the road when the bus became full! So I made up my mind to join the other children. I struggled all that I could possibly struggle to join the bus.

The people who didn’t get in were shouting, telling their friends, “Le norfe numsia!” meaning in Ewe, “Retain a seat for me! Get a place for me!” But even though I was scared, I fought my way inside and was strong enough to get a spot!

As the days went on, I was strong in my academics as I was strong on the bus the first day. However, there was one problem. Private schools teach Information and Computer Technology (I.C.T.) and French Language from the early grades, but as I was from a government school, I didn’t know anything about either subject when I entered grade five at Covenant.

Pamela with her friend in Ghana.
Pamela with her friend in Ghana.

When the time came for us to write the promotional exam to go to grade six, I passed all the exams… except for I.C.T. and French! Very thankfully, I was promoted all the same. I took this experience as motivation to work harder. When we came to grade six I had become proficient in both I.C.T. and French, and still am, up to this date!

I am so happy that I am now a part of Covenant Preparatory School. I have gone from being the new girl with the odd uniform, to a true leader at Covenant.

We have a saying: “There is no harm in trying.” Indeed, taking the risk to enroll in the strange new school rumored to be full of witches and wizards has been one of the best choices of my life!

Lillie’s Note: Please do leave a comment, question, suggestion, or compliment for Pamela, and don’t forget to add your country of residence and country of origin!


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Jason L.

Tuesday 17th of November 2015

This is kind of like the U.S because we also have two kinds of schools: private and public schools.

Tyler N.

Tuesday 17th of November 2015

That was an amazing article, you should write more! Boston (USA)

Malaysia S.

Monday 6th of December 2010

I'm glad you decided not to be afraid of witches and wizards and went to that school. I'm also glad that you were able to pass your I.C.T and French exams the second time around. Great job! :)


Sunday 4th of July 2010

Great story Pamela! I'm glad you were able to adjust to your new school and make new friends. I'll remember your courage the next time I am in a new frightening situation.

Kwabla (Connecticut, USA)

Imported Blogger Comments

Friday 28th of May 2010

Nomadic Chick said... I have no idea why, but this story made me tear up. I love reading about someone overcoming fears.

Pamela, you're a wonderful writer!

Country of origin and residence: Canada

February 19, 2010 10:03 PM

Suzi said... What a great story, Pamela - both your story of how you worked hard to overcome your fears and the way it is written. You have touched many hearts!

Country of origin & residence: United States of America (State of California)

February 19, 2010 11:37 PM

Aaron from HappytimeBlog said... This is both a beautiful insight into African scools and a wondefully honest and sincere account of your fears and worries. I think you have achieved something with this artivcle that shows a real and natural tallent for writing. Your words made me completely understand your situation on that day and they even made me feel the worry that you were feeling(as much as words can)...

Thanks for sharing

Aaron - UK

February 21, 2010 12:44 AM

Anonymous said... Hello from Pamela,

I am very happy for you telling me these motivational words, and I promise to write more for more good comments. Watch out for more, and teach me good things!

Have a wonderful day, as I have.

See you all, Precious Pamela

February 24, 2010 5:17 PM

Anonymous said... Hi, I'm a teacher from Cincinnati, Ohio in the United States. I work with students from 8 to 10 years old. Thank you for sharing your story. I was thinking about how people around the world have similar feelings when we go into a new situation like going to a new school or a new job on the first days. You felt out of place at first because you wore your uniform from the public school. Even as adults we feel the same at times when we show up someplace and feel we stand out in a way we wish we didn't because of what we chose to wear!

I'm so glad to know the change you made from one school to the other was a good thing for you! You have learned such valuable lessons about hard work, first impressions and making new friends. Later in life you'll remember how your hard work at Covenant has made you successful there. You'll do the same in other situations.

Mary Pat

February 27, 2010 2:55 PM

Anonymous said... Madam Mary you motivate me very much!

- Precious Pamela

March 1, 2010 4:54 PM

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