Prempeh College as an educational institution is a product of a fruitful collaboration between the Kumasi Traditional Council, the Presbyterian and Methodist churches in the then Gold Coast, and the Colonial Central Government.
Until 1949 when Prempeh College was founded, there was not a single government-assisted or recognized secondary school in Ashanti and the Northern Sector of the country. Students from these areas who were desirous of pursuing Secondary Education had to travel to the south to attend schools like Achimota, Accra Academy, Mfantsipim School, Adisadel College, St Augustine’s College, and PRESEC at Krobo Odumasi.
The Colonial Government sought to correct this imbalance in the early 1940s by inviting the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches, which had proven experience in running institutions of learning to start a Secondary School for boys. After some delays caused by the Second World War, the final decision to open a school for boys in Kumasi was taken in 1948.
Prempeh College, therefore, was founded to fill a void that had existed in Secondary Education for residents of Ashanti and the Northern Sector of the Country. Temporary accommodation was found for the Students on the premises of the 52nd Military Hospital. The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei-Agyeman Prempeh II, who had taken a personal interest in the formation of the school donated the land which forms the present site of the school.
The name Prempeh College was suggested by Major C.O. Butler, the then Chief Commissioner for Ashanti. The Ashanti colors of green and gold were adopted by the school. The first Headmaster, Rev. S. N. Pearson presented the school crest which incorporated the school colors and depicted the Ashanti stool as well as a cross, representing the role of the church. The original motto: “Oman pa fa pem ne suban pa” was changed to “suban ne nimdeɛ” in 1964.
The School was opened on 3rd February 1949 with the arrival of 50 students, and its formal opening ceremony was attended by many dignitaries, including The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei-Agyemang Prempeh II, Major C. O. Butler, Church Leaders, Chiefs and members of the Kumasi Traditional Council.
The Asantehene maintained a keen interest in the school and was a frequent attendant at the School’s Speech and Prize-Giving Days. The first Headmaster, Rev. S. N. Pearson in his four-year term set the trailblazing by making discipline and academic work his principal occupation. He also started to replace the old buildings of the former 52nd Military Hospital. His successors continued to build on the solid foundation laid.
Special mention is made of Dr. T. A. Osae, the first African headmaster who brought the work of his predecessors to fruition and built on it.
Under him Prempeh was placed on a high pedestal, beating key schools academically for ten consecutive years, producing more students for medical schools than any other School, and becoming Champions in Athletics. Old Students (Amanfoﬤ) has instituted an annual Pearson – Osae Memorial Lecture in honor of these main pivots of Prempeh College’s success story. The invaluable contributions of all other headmasters, which cannot be recounted for time and space, have kept Prempeh in the limelight as one of the top second-cycle institutions in the country.
Today the success story of Prempeh College has made it a school of choice for boys across the country. The vision and dreams of the Monarch and the others have become a reality and today alumni of the school are serving in many positions of responsibility in and outside the country.
They have distinguished themselves as academics, politicians, doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, architects, traditional rulers, and officers in the security services. The school looks into the future with hope and will continue to make the sky the limit.
Notable Alumni of Prempeh College
- Mohammed Abdul-Saaka, deputy minister in the second republic
- Sam Adjei, physician
- Samuel Yaw Adusei, former deputy Ashanti Regional Minister
- Jot Agyeman, author, actor, playwright and media executive
- Kwesi Ahwoi, former Minister for the Interior of Ghana.
- Francis Amanfoh, diplomat
- Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey, Vice Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies
- Joseph Amoah, sprinter representing Ghana at the 2019 World Athletics Championships and national record holder in the men’s 200 metres8
- Richard Twum Aninakwah, Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana (2004–2008)
- Edmund Owusu Ansah, footballer
- Yaw Appau, active Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana (2015–2021)
- Kwame Baah, Ghanaian soldier and politician; formerly Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Minister for Economic Planning during the Acheampong regime.
- Hon Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Ghanaian Politician, Former Minister of Education
- Fritz Baffour, television producer and media consultant is the managing director of Tropical Visionstorm Limited
- Baffour Adjei Bawuah, diplomat
- Kofi Boahene, physician
- Nana Osei Bonsu II, the traditional ruler of Ashanti Mampong
- Yussif Chibsah, footballer
- Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, Former Governor Bank of Ghana, Finance Minister, Founder UniBank Ghana
- Maxwell Kofi Jumah Former Mayor of Kumasi
- Sadat Karim, footballer
- John Kufuor, former president of the Republic of Ghana
- Osagyefo Kuntunkununku II– Okyenhene
- Joakim Lartey, percussionist
- Kwadwo Mpiani, Former Chief of Staff and Minister for Presidential Affairs
- Martin Osei Nyarko, footballer
- Michael K. Obeng, Ghanaian American Plastic Surgeon
- Dominic Oduro, footballer
- Prof. Kwadwo Asenso Okyere, former Vice Chancellor, University of Ghana, Legon, former head of Food and Agriculture, UNO
- Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, MP for Manhyia South and Minister for Energy, Ghana
- Kwadwo Afoakwa Sarpong, former Ghanaian diplomat
- Kwabena Sarpong-Anane, acting Director General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (2010–2011)
- Tonyi Senayah, Chief Executive Officer of Horseman Shoes
- Kwaku Sintim-Misa Ghanaian actor, director, satirist, talk show host, and author.
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