ST. PAUL TECHNICAL SCHOOL (SPATS) is located in Kukurantumi – Akim under Kibi District
in the Eastern Region of Ghana. The terrain is semi plain boarded by the mountains
of Begoro in the Fanteakwa district with a distance of about 120 kms. North East
of Accra, the capital of Ghana. There are around fifteen thousand (15000) people
as inhabitants of the place. With this population, there are 13 religious denominations
of the area. There are 15 first cycle schools; 2 Senior Secondary Schools; 1 big
Technical School, few small private vocational-
St. Paul Technical School was established in 1957 by the Divine Word Missionaries
It is good to note that SPATS was the first Catholic Technical School in Ghana. Its aim and purpose was to train youth through Christian, moral education and technical skills in order to gain employment as well as to become factors of development of the Nation. Those days’ good technicians were very scarce and employment was difficult.
Credit should go to our founding generations. There were many personnel involved
in the establishment which we can name some later as far as we can remember (see
page Highlights), but the first big Four are prominent. The first goes to our retired
Bishop Joseph O. Bowers, SVD. He was the Bishop of Accra. As Bishop, big part of
his duty was the development of his Diocese in education. Having seen that Kukurantumi
was conducive place for Technical School, he followed-
The second man in line of course was Fr. John Harpel, SVD a pastor, an educator and a carpenter. He was the first principal of the school. He work religiously to build a strong foundation of the establishment.
The third was the late Kukurantumi chief and Adontehene of Akyem Abuakwa Nana Kwabena Kena II. He generously released the land for the mission. And in addition, he also mobilized his people to prepare the land for school through communal labour.
The fourth one was Fr. Josef Sprehe, SVD a pastor, an educator and technician. He worked hard to keep up the good name of SPATS. He succeeded Fr. Harpel with a touch of cordiality, discipline and excellence.
Rev. Fr. Harpel started the school with eighteen (18) students under the shelter of a deserted cocoa shed which he used as a classroom. The course offered was Block laying and Concreting which he later incorporated with Carpentry. There were no workshops for practical work but the students did their practical work with a private contractor who was by then building the Catholic Mission House. Fr. Harpel was initially assisted by a German volunteer called Mr. Schutty and four other Ghanaians. Out of the eighteen pioneers, fourteen were able to graduate in 1960 with the School Diploma.
By 1960, the first classroom, now the administration block, and the science block
had been built. The classroom block was a multipurpose block . It was used partly
as a classroom and partly as a workshop with only one small machine -
But the following years, more courses were put in place. Late Bro. John Heckel, SVD joined the staff and established the Auto Mechanic course. Bro. Vitus Hartberger, SVD(1963) also came and founded the Electrical Installation department. And then Bro. Hanns Fashingbauer, SVD (1968) for Mechanical Engineering section.
The 1960’s saw a rapid expansion and development. With the introduction of other
The school continued to award Diploma Certificates to its graduates until 1969 when it was registered with the City and Guilds of London for the final examination.
Under his policy of ‘quality but not quantity’, Fr. Harpel laid a solid foundation for high academic standards and strict discipline both in the staff and students.
In 1970 Rev. Fr. Harpel, who had worked in the school for thirteen (13) years handed over the administration to Rev. Fr. Joseph Sprehe who had started teaching in the school since 1968. Fr. Sprehe rapidly improved the infrastructure of the school making it one of the best equipped technical schools in the country. Workshops were equipped, standard classrooms and library was constructed, play fields was prepared, beautiful landscaping and other works were done. He kept strongly to the policy of quality education and did all he could to put SPATS in an enviable position of academic excellence and a school noted for high discipline.
The school remained a private mission school until 1973 when it was absorbed by the Ministry of Education into the Public Education System having a status of “Government Assisted School”.
Before the school became Government Assisted one, the school nearly shut down its door for the students and staff because of financial problem. This was the time when the SVD Generalate & Mesereor had stopped their financial support to SPATS to give SPATS an opportunity to be self reliance. It was then a very tough time for Fr. Josef Sprehe, SVD. Where to get financial support in order to continue the normal running cost of the school was a big headache for him.
Through good relationships with some friends, like Mr. Kwakye who was the good friend of Commissioner Mr. Nkegbe the then in charge of the Ministry of Education and Agriculture, and the Director Mr. Aggrey, who was at that time in charge of Technical Education, negotiations and applications were made.
Before the approval of the application for assistance was finalized, the Ministry
of Education was asking the head of the school to hand-
With the help of Fr. Sino, the then Accra Diocesan Chairman on Education Committee and again through good relationships with the Ministry of Education of Ghana, the appeal was well understood and the application was approved. So the school, though absorbed by the Government, remained a Mission School under the scheme “Government Assisted School”. In this view a good partnership between Church and Government was cordially established.
Financial support from the government has come. So more progress also have come.
At least the salary of the teaching staff was assured in the initial stage. Then
later the salary of the non-
From 1979, the school started offering the Pre-
In 1993, after serving the school tirelessly for twenty-
Another progress the school is having currently is the opening of its door for the girls/lady students. Due to this opening the construction of the girls’ boarding house is now going on.
SPATS can boast of many graduates who are now prominent men in Ghana and abroad. Many of them became heads of the important companies and schools in Ghana and outside Ghana. Many became great builders and developers. Some became religious brothers. Others became priests.
As the school looks back the struggles of the founding personnel in putting SPATS as it stands now, the present staff, PTA and student body of SPATS can’t help but grateful to our founding generations and the Government Education Service of Ghana. The staff, PTA and students, therefore, are firmly resolved to continue the dreams of the founding Fathers and improve upon it especially in this very competitive and highly technical, electronic and computer era for the good of the youth in Ghana who are the future leaders of the country and the church.
Another progress the school have currently has is opening its doors for female students.Due to this new development, a new dormitory
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