Mfantsipim School

P.O. Box 101, Cape Coast; Tel: 03321 – 34923; Fax: 03321 – 33203

An elite secondary school that surpasses Ghana and is based on a minimum of three fundamental values

I) Academic excellence ahead of the pack;
(ii) Leadership qualities of discipline and visible Christian values.
(iii) An unparalleled environment built for a holistic second cycle education.


From its inception, the Methodist church in Ghana has actively advocated for improved social and spiritual conditions in the nation. In 1876, at its synod, the church decided to build a high school. This led to the founding of the current Mfantsipim as a Methodist secondary school for boys on April 3, 1876, with the opening of the Wesleyan High School at Cape Coast.
The Wesleyan High School had a somewhat humble start. The first Headmaster, Mr. James Picot, was just eighteen when he was appointed, and his only formal education and experience came from a certificate from the College of Preceptors and a brief stint as a French master at Claremont College in Blackpool, England.
It is noteworthy, nonetheless, that two of Mr. Picot’s foundation pupils, John Mensah Sarbah and Casely Hayford, went on to become luminaries in Ghana’s social and political spheres.
The Wesleyan Collegiate School was renamed the Wesleyan High School in 1891, but this did not bring about any improvement for the struggling school, which was not even functioning at a high school level. The institution faced many challenges, including inadequate funding, inappropriate space, and a shortage of qualified staff. This situation persisted until 1891.
Under these conditions, John Mensah Sarbah—who at the time was taking the lead in national affairs—along with his Methodist countrymen made a decision to improve the school’s situation. They established the “Fante Public Schools Limited” firm with the goal of promoting higher education by building and enhancing the nation’s higher education facilities. The firm established Mfantsipim, a high school that was separate from Wesleyan Collegiate School, in April of 1905. The Wesleyan Collegiate School and Mfantsipim, the new setting, both faced severe challenges as a result of each institution’s lack of resources and the toxic rivalry between them. In July 1905, the Methodist Church took total control of the newly formed Mfantsipim and the Wesleyan Collegiate School, in an attempt to salvage the situation.
It was decided during the amalgamation that Mfantsipim would be the name of the united and single secondary institution. The school’s motto, “Dwen Hwɛ Kan,” which translates to “think and look ahead,” was given by Mr. John Mensah Sarbah. John Mensah Sarbah and his associates objected to the term “Mfantsipim” being transcribed into individual syllables in order to represent “Mfantsefo Apam.” For them, “Mfantsipim” represented the soul of the people, and they wanted it to be recognised as such. They were men of vision, considering the larger requirements of the nation as a whole in the future. They believed that the Ghanaian people’s spirits will develop at the school.
However, merger had not produced the miracle that was anticipated by the end of 1907. There were just eight (8) boys at Mfantsipim when Reverend W.T. Balmer, of the Methodist Church and principal of Richmond College, a ministerial training college in Freetown, Sierra Leone, arrived in Cape Coast on November 12, 1907, as part of his educational inspection tour to help improve secondary education in the West African countries. With no headmaster and no staff at the school, the lads were getting together to support one another. On July 8, 1907, the last headmaster departed the nation for a leave of absence. The lads were dubbed the “Faithful Eight” by Reverend Balmer, who also agreed to stay and become the school’s headmaster. In order to honour their memories, a monument was built between the Administration Block and the Assembly Hall during the centenary celebrations of Mfantsipim in 1976. since the relocation to Mount Hope, which is close to Victoria Park. Since 1910, Mfantsipim has played a significant role in secondary education in Ghana and West Africa. During this time, it has benefited from the services and guidance of two illustrious headmasters: Mr. F.L. Bartels, a Ghanaian, and Reverend R.A. Lockhart. From February 1925 to March 1936, Reverend Lockhart served as the school’s headmaster. He never gave up in his efforts to persuade the Gold Coast’s British colonial authority that secondary education for a growing proportion of the populace was essential to the nation’s advancement. In 1931, he was able to relocate the school from Mount Hope to Kwabotwe with its expanded enrollment after finishing a £40,000 construction programme. His Mfantsipim School Committee constitution served as the model for numerous other school constitutions across the nation. As an innovator and educational administrator, he instituted uniforms for secondary school students, replaced the two-term school year with one of the three terms, and replaced the previous two sessions of the day with a single school session. By assigning his old lads to the school staff, he took use of the full benefits of Africanization and provided them with opportunities for in-service training and correspondence courses to become graduates.
One of the Lockhart era’s pioneers, Mr. Bartels was the first African Headmaster of Mfantsipim and a layperson from September 1949 to April 1961. When Bartels took over Mfantsipim, the government policy towards secondary education was noticeably better, and he made the most of the chance this presented. He put a great deal of thought, insight, and diligence into the pressing issue of growth and development. Since the school’s founding, when Picot served as headmaster, Mfantsipim has distinguished itself by providing leadership and service to both this nation and the global community.
The founders of Mfantsipim wished for the school to instill in its boys a sense of mental discipline and mental honesty. Above all, moral bravery and a disposition befitting of the school’s Christian foundation.
The history of Mfantsipim is filled with instances of the school and its boys achieving success that embodies these attributes; nevertheless, it is not implied—of course—that every boy who attends Mfantsipim is born with this particular set of attributes.

The school runs a trimester program. This starts in September of a year and ends in July of the next year. That is there are three (3) terms in a school year.
This is referred to as Bu-Ber in Fante. Period: September – December.
This is referred to as Adow-Ber Period: January – March/April
This is referred to as Eso-Ber – Period: April – July/August


Alumni of the school include:


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