Mixed school



Region: Greater Accra Region

District: Ga West Municipal

Locality: Achimota


Estimated Population: 3602


No. of Houses:


St John’s Grammar School was founded on May 16, 1954, by prominent entrepreneur Mr John Hayford Mensah (also known as Kodwo Wangara), with the assistance of MP and Trade Minister Mr P.K.K. Quaidoo, Nana Essilfie Bondzie, Mr Charles Ocansey and Mr S.M. Arko. Mr Mensah’s dream institution had very humble beginnings. It boasted only four students in its maiden year. They were accommodated in temporary structures at Kokomlemle, then a predominantly residential suburb of Accra. This was at the cusp of independence in the Gold Coast, and education was a priority for the founders, who had strong nationalist inclinations. Whereas most secondary institutions were single-sex schools, JOHNSCO was designed to create more opportunities by being co-educational. This was not the only unique feature of the school. Apart from the traditional subjects, French, Latin and Greek were taught in the school, hence the designation “Grammar School” with the motto Virtute et Industria (virtue and hard work). Today, the mission statement of the school is no different from what its founders envisaged: “To provide relevant education to all Ghanaians at all levels to enable them to acquire skills that will assist them to develop their potential, to be productive, to facilitate poverty reduction and to promote socio-economic growth and national development.” In 1964, a decade after its inception, JOHNSCO relocated from Kokomlemle, which was then succumbing to the urban sprawl, to Achimota on the Accra-Nsawam road, considered to be a more suitable academic environment. A year later, it was absorbed into the public school system. In 1968, the government acquired the entire land and buildings on the school compound, so in 1970, Mr Mensah moved the preparatory (primary) school to new buildings behind the Achimota Brewery Company Limited. The Grammar School then expanded. Mr Mensah acted as both Manager and Headmaster of the school in 1965.