The Township

Kwabeng is a small town located in the Eastern Region of Ghana, West Africa.  It is located about 85 miles north of Accra, the national capital.  Its population is currently estimated to be approximately 25,000 people.

The People

The natives are mostly Akyems, one of over forty Ghanaian ethnic tribes. The majority of people, usually born into large, extended families in the township, often live there all of their lives. For generations, most of the adult population has been predominantly farmers who have no fixed income. They depend exclusively on income from cocoa – a seasonal, cash crop which is harvested annually between October and February. Thereafter, most of them live under subsistence levels.

Education

Until the last few decades, the majority of the natives were illiterates. However, the township now boasts the following schools with approximately 2,500 students in Pre-K to JHS each year.

  • Two Pre-K and Kindergarten Centers (ages 2-5)
  • Six Primary Schools (Grades 1-6)
  • Six Junior High Schools (Grades 7-9)
  • One Senior High School (Grades 10-12)

The Primary and Junior High Schools are operated jointly by the Regional Ministry of Education and the churches in the town, i.e. Presbyterian, Anglican, Roman Catholic, Islamic, Pentecost and A.M.E. Zion. However, the SHS is exclusively under the Ministry of Education.  All the schools face the same basic problem – huge class sizes (35-45 kids).  School supplies are very scarce and neither the township nor any of the schools have a library. The educational needs of the community are extremely low on the priority list of both the central and local governments. Unfortunately, most parents are too poor to support the school system financially. The sad result is that the quality of education is so low that only about twenty percent of the JHS graduates qualify for High School each year. Parents must pay high tuition and other fees (including boarding fees) for their kids to attend SHS either in the town or in other townships or cities.  Consequently, most JHS graduates from the town end their education at that level and invariably have no opportunity for employment or a bright future.