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.
It is interesting to note that not many people in this country today may know that until 1949 when Prempeh College was founded, there was not a single government assisted or recognized secondary school in Ashanti and 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 1940’s 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 in the premises of the 52nd Military Hospital. The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei-Agyeman Prempeh II, who had taken 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 colours of green and gold was adopted by the school. The first Headmaster, Rev. S. N. Pearson presented the school crest which incorporated the school colours and depicting 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 College has been under the watch of 10 Headmasters since it was founded some 62 years ago. The first Headmaster, Rev. S. N. Pearson in his four year term set the trail blazing 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, 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) have instituted an annual Pearson – Osae Memorial Lectures in honour 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, has 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, doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, architects, traditional rulers and as officers in the security services. In the political arena, the immediate past President of the Republic of Ghana, Mr. J. A. Kufour is an Amanfoכ.
The school looks into the future with hope and will continue to make the sky the limit.