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DPS Ghana pips 50 schools to top Cambridge IGCSE exams


Accra: The Delhi Public School Ghana left behind around 50 schools to top two levels of the 2015 Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) examinations in the west African country.

DPS Ghana, which is part of the Delhi Public School system of India and is present in over 150 countries, came on top in both the 2015 Ordinary and Advance level examinations, school founder Mukesh Thakwani said.

Developed over 25 years ago, Cambridge IGCSE is one of the world’s most popular international qualification for 14- to 16-year-olds. It is recognised by leading universities worldwide, and its curriculum offers a variety of routes for learners with a wide range of abilities, including those whose first language is not English.

“The idea of the school in Ghana is to help build society rather than make money out of an educational facility,” he said.

Thakwani, who is also the owner of the B5Plus Steel company in Accra, said that when the school was established, his dream was to make it the best in west Africa.

Two years after it started, two students won the national mathematics and Spelling Bee competitions to represent the school in Hong Kong and the US.

One of the students, Vishal Thakwani, who won last year’s Spelling Bee, has now been named Ghana’s brand ambassador.

“It is not only the school that is winning laurels, I have been awarded the West Africa Personality of the Year by the West Africa magazine,” Mukesh Thakwani said.

He said the DPS Ghana which started in 2011 with students from the west Africa region only, now has students from 24 countries across Africa.

“This is fulfilling my dream of making DPS Ghana an educational landmark in west Africa to provide affordable education for all.”

When Thakwani arrived in Ghana, his desire, in addition to his steel company, was to build a top class school whose fees would be affordable to all, but with a high level of teaching.

He was able to establish the school 20 years after he arrived in Ghana.

“We took a loan of $16 million with my personal guarantee to ensure that the school is built to an international standard,” he said.

“One can describe it as part of B5Plus’s social responsibility in the country, but it is also my personal belief that when you want to build a society, you must develop the people through education and that is why DPS Ghana must be seen as serving society rather than an economic venture,” he said.

Thakwani attributed the school’s success to the way teachers were committed to their work by providing extra classes to weak students after school.

The school has also built an amphitheatre with a capacity of 2,000 as well as a sports complex as part of its efforts to provide holistic education to its students.

Ghana has a substantial Indian community, numbering about 10,000. Some of them have been in the country for over 70 years. Business activities of Indians in Ghana have led to the country being the second highest investor in Ghana in terms of number of projects.(IANS)(image:

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Ghanaian ‘Superhero’ Awarded for Work to End ‘Spirit Child’ Killings

"The local belief is that if you survive, it's proof you are not a spirit, but if you die, it's confirmation that you are a spirit,"


When Angela was born without lower legs, her father believed she was an evil spirit and should be taken to a “concoction man” — a traditional herbalist who would kill the baby and bury her.

But Angela survived after a midwife put her mother in touch with charity worker Joseph Asakibeem, who has devoted his life to saving Ghana’s “spirit children.”

Spirit Child
Angela, who was born in northern Ghana without lower legs, is pictured here as a baby with her mother and grandfather in northern Ghana, Oct. 2011. VOA

In parts of northern Ghana, babies born with disabilities are traditionally seen as bringers of bad luck, said Asakibeem, who on Monday won the Bond Humanitarian Award that recognizes hidden “superheroes” for his work with the charity AfriKids. Until recently, many spirit children were taken to a concoction man who would lock them in a room after administering a poisonous potion.

“The local belief is that if you survive, it’s proof you are not a spirit, but if you die, it’s confirmation that you are a spirit,” said Asakibeem, a project manager at AfriKids.

“Unfortunately, most times the child dies. They then bury the child in an isolated place away from the village.”

Babies whose mothers die in childbirth, or who are born after something bad has happened to the family, also risk being labeled spirit children.

Smart girl

Angela, now a bright seven-year-old, is one of 110 children rescued by Asakibeem and his team at AfriKids.

She has learned to walk with prosthetic limbs, helps her mother with chores, and is thriving at school. Angela’s parents separated after her birth but her father has begged for a reconciliation after seeing her progress, AfriKids said.

spirit child
Angela, 5, who was born in northern Ghana without lower legs, is seen with prosthetic limbs at the AfriKids Child Rights Center, Sirigu, northern Ghana, Jan. 2015. VOA

“She’s a very strong girl, she’s smart and a fast learner,” Asakibeem told Reuters by Skype. “My hope is one day she will become a nurse or teacher and serve as a role model to the community.”

Asakibeem, 41, grew up in the Kassena Nankana region in northern Ghana, where the belief in kinkirigo, or spirit children, was deeply embedded.

In 2005, up to 15 percent of babies who died were thought to have been killed as spirit children, according to AfriKids.

Asakibeem began talking to parents, village elders and concoction men to change mindsets and dispel superstitions by informing them about the medical reasons for disabilities and promoting health care.

Asakibeem said many disabilities in the region were linked to poor nutrition and health care during pregnancy and a lack of access to medical help during labor complications.

spirit child
Joseph Asakibeem, project manager with charity AfriKids, Oct. 2012. VOA

AfriKids has set up a center in Asakibeem’s home village, Sirigu, and another in nearby Bongo district, providing help for disabled children, a support group for their mothers and antenatal care for pregnant women.

It gives small loans for businesses like basketry, pottery and poultry farming to help mothers support their families.

Reaching concoction men

One challenge was persuading the concoction men to stop.

AfriKids provided livestock and loans to kickstart businesses.

It also takes them to areas where children with disabilities flourish and some of those who once made a living from killing children have become advocates to protect them, Asakibeem said.

No child killings have been reported in Kassena Nankana for 10 years, but Asakibeem said they continue elsewhere.

“We’re now expanding our work to the whole of northern Ghana. My dream is that in 15 years I can stop this practice.” (VOA)