Pope John Senior High School and Minor Seminary: A legacy of excellence and faith in Eastern Region

Stories and facts

Pope John Senior High School and Minor Seminary, commonly known as POJOSS, is an all-boys boarding school located in Effiduase, Koforidua, in Ghana's Eastern Region.

Established in 1958 by Bishop Joseph Oliver Bowers SVD, the school was initially a Catholic seminary for boys aspiring to the priesthood.

Today, it offers programs in general arts, general science, business, and visual arts. Students culminate their studies by taking the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, which enables them to gain admission to various tertiary institutions in Ghana.

The school community includes around 2,100 students, referred to as Pojomma, while alumni are known as Pojoba and respond with "Daasebre."

The institution's history began with Bishop Bowers' pastoral visit to the New Juabeng Traditional Area in 1953, which resulted in the acquisition of land at Effiduase for the school's construction.

The first buildings were erected in 1955, and by 1957, the school had its first headmaster, Rev. Fr. Alphonse Elsbend. St. John's Seminary and College officially opened on January 21, 1958, with 45 students.

Originally a private Catholic institution, the school was incorporated into Ghana's public education system in 1968 due to financial challenges.

It was renamed Pope John Secondary School and Junior Seminary in honor of Pope John XXIII. The school was further re-designated as Pope John Senior High School and Minor Seminary in 2007 following educational reforms.

The school's development has been significant, with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Koforidua assuming management after its establishment in 1992.

Today, POJOSS boasts a professional teaching staff of 92 and a non-teaching staff of 85. Over 8,000 students have graduated from the school, with many becoming ordained priests, including Archbishop Charles G. Palmer-Buckle.

POJOSS students wear a distinctive uniform known as the "Reflector," consisting of a yellow shirt and blue trousers or shorts, complemented by a tie and blazer. The school's strong Roman Catholic culture influences its governance and student leadership appointments.

Key events such as Founders' Day, Homecoming Reunions, and Speech and Prize-Giving Days are integral to the school's calendar, alongside annual St. Thomas Aquinas Day celebrations and inter-house athletics.

Academically, POJOSS is divided into departments for General Science, General Arts, Business, and Visual Arts. The curriculum follows a three-year cycle, with core subjects like English, Mathematics, and Integrated Science offered to all students. Unique to the school are subjects tied to its seminary roots, such as Religion, Doctrine Studies, Latin, and Music.

The school campus includes modern facilities like a science laboratory, ICT center, library, and athletic fields. The Parent Teacher Association, the Students' Representative Council, the Roman Catholic Church, and the POJOBA alumni association have significantly contributed to these developments.

The chaplaincy, headed by a chaplain appointed by the Archbishop of Accra, supports religious activities and groups like the Catholic Students Union and the Legion of Mary.

The chaplaincy organizes key events such as the St. Thomas Aquinas Day celebrations and the Kwahu-Tafo pilgrimage.

POJOSS maintains a high academic standard, frequently excelling in science, business, and arts competitions. The school has achieved numerous accolades, including victories in the National Independence Debate Championship and the National Science and Maths Quiz.

The school's alumni have made significant contributions in various fields, and notable teachers have received national recognition for their excellence in education.

Extracurricular activities are vibrant, with clubs and societies like the Science and Maths Club, Literary and Drama Club, and School Choir fostering student talent and engagement.

The Students' Representative Council plays a crucial role in student administration, ensuring discipline and contributing to the development of school amenities.

POJOSS has a strong relationship with society, particularly with the Roman Catholic Church and the town of Effiduase. It maintains alliances with sister schools like St. Roses Senior High School and Krobo Girls' Senior High School, fostering a collaborative and friendly environment.

The school also serves as a polling station for national elections and hosts weekend classes for distant learners from the University of Education, Winneba.

Affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church and closely connected with institutions like Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, POJOSS continues to be a beacon of academic and moral excellence.

The school's history of rivalry with institutions like St. Peter's Boys Senior Secondary School, Nkwatia, further highlights its dynamic and competitive spirit.



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