Wesley Girls High School adopts Ashesi University's honour code

Daring to be different:

January 23, 2016 -Inspired by Ashesi, the Wesley Girls High School has adopted and structured an honour code that cuts across social conduct and academic work. In a landmark ceremony, four cohorts of the senior class of Wesley Girls High School, Cape Coast, pledged “to be a check on one another in all matters of good conduct and not be deterred by their peers or some significant others; to not be frightened by the challenges or demands that the realization of their goals will make on their time, being and intellect.”

In so doing, these students pledged to demand a culture of integrity by holding one another responsible for doing the right thing, including writing internal examinations without invigilation.

“During a staff development program in Kumasi, chaired by Dr. Awuah, he shared some of the things Ashesi is doing, including the honour code. That's where I caught hold of it,” said Mrs. Betty Djokoto, Headmistress of Wesley Girls High School. “It was difficult for people to believe it; they didn’t think the average young Ghanaian can be responsible and honest. At Wesley Girls though, we set the bar very high, and believe in ethics and strong core values; therefore, if there is any activity or any kind of concept that helps us to achieve the status of excellence, we will buy into it. So it fell in the grain of the school. It is the idea of daring to be different. Even among the best you have to dare to be different, in the positive sense. We want to tell the whole world that we buy into the honour code, so this is making formal what we have been doing all along.”

Similar to Ashesi, the decision to be on the honour code is left to the students. At Wesley Girls, a cohort is inducted into the honour code only when each member of the cohort has agreed to the decision. Effectively making them custodians of the honour code. As part of the ceremony, the students and form masters or mistresses on the honour code were presented with badges of honour to serve as a reminder of their commitment, and also to encourage the rest of the community to follow suit.

“When peer pressure is positive, it is more potent than the adult always giving instruction,” added Mrs. Djokoto. “It’s going to influence and impart the others. It is a bold thing; they won’t disturb during silent hours, they will be honest and they will do independent work when they are supposed to. It is not about intelligence nor is it about wonderful academic performance, it’s about conduct. And as they live according to such lofty ideals of honesty, determination, hard work, sense of responsibility and punctuality, it will show. It’s about character.”