Article #7 in the YCC Kids Club Ghana Student Life Stories Project
My First Day at Covenant Preparatory School
By Agbi Pamela, Age 14
But I decided to enroll anyway. My mother had explained well how switching to Covenant would enhance my education.
In Ghana 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!