Our 2022 reunion will be held in the crypt of Saint Mary’s Church, Upper Street. Islington, London, N1 2TX. After coffee at 11am, we will be starting with the AGM at 11.30, followed by lunch at 1pm and tea later in the afternoon. During the afternoon we hope to have talks as usual by members who have recently visited Ghana. If you would like to give an update on a Ghana school project you have links with, please contact me to book a 10-minute slot. A projector and screen will be provided. The charge for attendance will be £35 per head. If you would like to add to that sum a donation to GSA, that would be particularly welcomed. Please contact me by email by Monday 6th June at the latest if you would like to attend. We plan to establish a Zoom link, for which there will be no charge, but we will need your email address in advance.

My email is [email protected]

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sad news

I have, alas, two deaths to report.


1925 – 23/12/2021.Eric was a founder member of Ghana School Aid. He had been an Education Officer in Ghana from 1952 to 1961, I quote from a tribute to him by his dear friends Kofi and Floria Ohene.

“Mr Eric Earle was the Secretary at the London Institute of Education when I was a graduate student there 1985 to 1987, under a British Government Scholarship. Eric invited me to his office in 1986 and shared with me his previous work in Ghana as an Education Officer in Cape Coast, Ho and Accra, during the latter part of the colonial period. He disclosed his continued interest in Ghana and the concern of his and other colonial service colleagues about the post-colonial developments in Ghana, particularly on Education and the intention to raise funds to support Ghana schools in poor communities. Eric’s love and interest in Ghana, his initiatives and good works led to the establishment of Ghana School Aid (GSA) in 1986.

Mr Eric Earle, my good friend and mentor, as we bid farewell we know that you have played your part by offering a lifetime of service to education and contributing to the growth and development of schools in Ghana. We will miss your friendship, good humour, humility, and desire to support the under privileged schools and society.”

The funeral service was well-attended. Eric’s four children were there, as well as his many grand-children. Wonderful tributes were read out, hymns were sung, blessings given. A good number of GSA committee members were at the funeral, but not Ted Mayne, our former chairman, as he had had a nasty fall and was hospitalised for a couple of days. We were all very impressed by the way the funeral was organised and by what we learned of the life of this outstanding Irishman, so full of energy and goodwill, an inexhaustible fount of knowledge about education and people in Ghana. We will truly miss him, and owe it to him to maintain his legacy to the best of our ability.

Here are pictures of the church service and the Committee members who attended the funeral:

Funeral of Eric Earle 24th January 2022
Funeral of Eric Earle 24th January 2022


Lalage was also in her nineties, a most energetic, clear-minded and observant woman. She was appointed Professor of Adult and Continuing Education at the University of Glasgow. was awarded an OBE and no fewer than six honorary doctorates. She came to most of our Annual General Meetings and maintained wonderful support for GSA. She contributed much wisdom to our proceedings and, like Eric, will be sorely missed. Here is a summary of her professional life, written by a former colleague of hers:

Adult educator: advocate for the right for access to education, women’s literacy and decolonisation
Emeritus Professor Lalage Bown, OBE died in Shrewsbury hospital on 17 December 2021, aged 94, following a fall at home. An eminent women’s literacy advocate, she dedicated her life’s work to improving education for the disadvantaged, especially women, seeking to bring university opportunities to the widest possible sections of society.

Lalage was emersed in a tradition which regarded adult education as a catalyst for significant social change. Her ideas were informed by a post-war world in which many believed that the kind of injustices suffered under colonial rule had to end. But, beyond this, in her radical way, she also saw the need to develop new inclusive, post-colonial approaches to education, including the reform of university curricula. She devoted her life to this mission, inspiring and challenging all she met- professionals and learners- across many countries in Africa and Europe. (…)

After her studies, Lalage applied in 1949 for a resident tutor post based at the Department of Extra-Mural Studies of University College of the Gold Coast (subsequently Ghana). As an African colleague said, she chose to serve overseas, leaving behind the comfort and serenity of her environment for the more challenging terrain of Africa. During her interview, she was asked “Now Miss Bown, supposing you were to get the job and you were in the jungle in a car and your car broke down, how do we know you wouldn’t have a fit of hysterics?’’  She simply replied, “Well sir, if you don’t give me the job, you’ll never find out, will you?” She was given the job. (…)  At just 22, Lalage travelled via Senegal to Ghana where she became involved in teaching African literature and arts and helped to create the first African folk high school.

Over a period of 30 years in Africa she became the first field resident tutor in the Extra-Mural Department at Makerere University College in Uganda, and held various positions at the University of Ibadan and Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria, the University of Zambia and the University of Lagos. In Zambia.


Professor Lalage Bown was an outstanding communicator: she wrote, edited or contributed to around 26 books and monographs plus around 86 articles. In her leisure time she enjoyed travel, reading and entertaining friends.  She was living proof of the adage “If you never stop learning, you never grow old.” One colleague said if he were to highlight one special characteristic of Lalage’s among so many, it would be her open, friendly, and collaborative attitude to working with other people. He adds that she was not self-seeking or competitive but enjoyed bringing out the best in others- she was interested in and valued every contribution, yet if she disagreed with you, she would let you know in a straight way. (…) In the words of one of her African colleagues, Lalage was a trail blazer in the global Adult Education movement. Her commitment to, and insight about, democratic adult education was unbounded. She succeeded in giving Adult and Continuing Education a recognised profile as a major field of education policy in Europe, Africa and beyond.

AGM 17th June 20-21

24 people attended our zoom meeting, some far afield. We discussed feedback from schools, our finances, heard some reports from people recently back from Ghana and from Kofi Ohene, one of our representatives in Ghana. After a long service to GSA as Chairman, Ted Mayne is stepping down, becoming vice chair to the new chair, William Spooner. We expressed gratitude to Ted and a warm welcome to William. Ted’s final chair’s report is reproduced below, as is an extract from our hon. sec. Jo Hallett’s report.

Chairman’s Annual Report 2020-2021:

Every year about this time when I settle down to do my annual report, I ask myself “Where has the past year gone?” Time certainly flies, especially as we get older. That said, in spite of the speedy passing of time, for us the year has been both productive and enjoyable. Thanks to Zoom we have had our quarterly meetings and the pandemic has not dampened our enthusiasm or hindered our activities. However, we all hope that we shall be able to meet up in person before too long.

When I commented on the speed the years leave us behind, I am reminded of the year 2007, when I took over the chairman’s duties from Eric Earle, who is now in his mid-nineties, and the only surviving member of the original committee. Eric still takes a keen interest in our activities and I visit him regularly. He retains a fountain of knowledge going back to the Gold Coast days. Sadly, his dear wife Auriol died earlier this year and a tribute is included in our latest bulletin.

For some time I have been considering my future with Ghana School Aid. I have been a committee member for 25 years and Chairman for 14. I was fortunate to be able to work closely with Eric Earle. When he relinquished his Chairman’s duties in 2007, I immediately took over and have held the position ever since. For me, the time and effort has been all pleasure. I have discussed my future with the committee, who have agreed I can step down with effect from this meeting. We are very fortunate in that we have William Spooner on our committee who is willing to take over. William and his family have close connections with Ghana and he is just the person to introduce new ideas. Fortunately, he has youth on his side.

Our recent newsletter includes reports on our latest projects and we have provided funds to build a number of much needed toilet blocks in a selection of rural schools. I am happy to say that, thanks to increased funding, we have given away more funds than in the past. Some of the projects have been quite ambitious and fortunately we have our Ghanaian members who are carefully monitoring our efforts. Here I pay tribute to Kofi Ohene, Alhassan Baako and Patrick Nyanteh. Our website is frequently updated, which means that our activities are there for all to see.

As I said, our work is well documented on our website and this becoming our main source of income. This is encouraging, but it does give our treasurer plenty to do. Jo Hallett has been a marvellous secretary and Penny Sewell keeps our website up-to-date. Jennifer MacDougall, once more, has produced an excellent bulletin. These are just a few whose efforts ensure that the operation is well oiled. The Charity Commission are pleased with the way we operate and nearly all our income goes into our projects. Very little goes towards expenses and all of us give much of our free time. This I know will continue. The charity is in good hands. For me, my involvement has been all pleasure and I shall support our new chairman as he takes over the reins.

I close by sending thanks to all those involved and I know that Ghana School Aid will flourish in the years ahead. Bless you all.

Ted Mayne
Outgoing Chairman

Extract from our secretary’s report:

In the year 2021 -2021, we were able to give grants to 23 schools or projects, nearly all for toilets and sanitation, as this has been our focus for the past two years. During the “application window” of October 2019, we had 62 applications; in October 2020 we had over 70 more. It is clear that the need is very great; I have been sent photos of some dreadful facilities, and many schools have none at all. The effects are particularly severe for girl pupils and female teachers dealing with menstruation, but also have implications for the spread of disease.

6th May committee meeting

We held the meeting via Zoom. The most important item of business concerned grants awarded and to be awarded. We reviewed with pleasure the feedback we had received from schools and agreed a list of applications that had remained outstanding from our previous meeting. in recent years we have benefited from some generous legacies, but lately our income has fallen, yet applications for grants keep rising! We therefore decided, with much regret, that, for the time being, application should be by invitation only.

The schools which benefited from grants this time are: Asuofa DA Basic; Aperade Senior High; Akrodie lslamic; Manhyia No 1 Basic; Baaleyiri RC Basic; Diasibe AME Zion Primary; Ankoma DA Basic; Nyame Nti DA Basic; Anyinasuso EA Primary; Sampa Methodist Primary; Otabilkrom DA Primary; Abonse Presbyterian Basic.

2021 AGM: THURSDAY 17 JUNE 2pm via ZOOM

This year’s AGM will again be using Zoom. To join it you should send our Hon Sec Jo Hallett an email and nearer the time she will send you the link. Her address is [email protected]  I will send out a letter to everyone towards the end of March. Forgive me for reminding you that we always send an appeal for funds at this time and any sum you can get spare will be gratefully received – details of how to make a donation will be in the letter, or you can use the button on our website. Thank you in advance.

Committee meeting of 14.1.21 (via Zoom).

At our recent committee meeting, we lamented the fact that our funds are limited, because we had almost 70 very good applications for funding sanitation projects in Ghanaian schools. After careful consideration, we selected the following schools and organisations, our grants totalling almost £20 000.

Kyekywere, Akroma/Adzenyewodze, Ampekro, Chebogo, Dohini, Gindabo, Jonshegu, Knavilli-Tawfikiya, Kpongeri, Mbanayili, Seripe, Kenyasi No. 2, Kings Academy, Developing Kids Charity, Dimale, Walewale Technical/Vocational Institute.

Many of the other applications merited grants as well as the above, so much so that we have decided to cancel the March 2021 window and instead take up the list of sanitation projects and try to fund as many of them as possible. Decisions will be made at our May committee meeting.

Project Feedback September 2020

At our September committee meeting, secretary Jo Hallett showed us some of the pictures she had received showing projects newly completed, or in progress.  Here they are, with an indication of what the project was.  GSA is delighted to have helped make a big difference to children’s school experience.



Report on the Covid19 pandemic in Ghana

This is a brief update on Education and Covid19 in Ghana.

There had been a gradual easing of restrictions on education, in response to the level of cases on Covid19 pandemic. Statistics on Ghana, as at September 9, 2020 are as follows:

Cases 45,188; Recovered 44,042; Deaths 283

On the bases of scientific advice, a scheme of phased return, in batches to school/university, for revision, examination and completion of academic calendar for 2019/20 was introduced but with strict adherence to the MOH/WHO protocols. (Washing hands, wearing face masks, social distancing)

University students in their final year, were to return to campus, to complete revision of academic work and examination on-line and/or on campus. Almost all the universities have now completed the outstanding academic work for the year and graduation ceremonies online have been held in recent weeks. Fresh Admissions in progress.

The final year Senior High School students returned to their schools for revision and WAEC examinations in July/August and they have also completed and awaiting results.

The Final Year Junior High School students are to return to School for revision and write their BECE examination in September.

The 2nd Year SHS and JHS students are to return to school from 5th October for revision and end of year examinations. Class sizes to be reduced to 25 SHS and 30 JHS.

Academic Calendar for Nursery, Primary and First Year JHS and SHS has been cancelled.

A new academic year will begin in January 2021. The Ministry of Education /Ghana Education Service is working out arrangements for the modification of the curriculum and length of the term to mitigate, over time, any deficiencies in academic work.

As part of these arrangements, all institutions were fumigated, PPEs and materials for hand washing were provided. Schools were attached to near-by hospitals and also set up sick bay for emergencies.

JHS students and teachers are being provided with one hot meal a day for the period that they will be in school.

Meanwhile the 7 December 2020, time for General Elections is drawing near the political parties are making various promises on Education and social services. These include: Continuation of Free Education from Primary to SHS, extension of free education to students in private schools, extension of Free education to Universities/or 50 percent fees plus student loans.

S Kofi Ohene

GSA Representative, Accra 9th September, 2020

Owabi Primary School

This email message has reached us from Beatrice Darko, Headteacher.  It shows well the type of project we support and its successful result.  I will try to add one of the pictures sent.

Dear Jo,

My heart is filled with great joy to report to you and GSA photos showing the final completion of Owabi school toilet facilities renovation for both the Primary and kindergarten learners.
The importance of these two renovated toilet projects will offer a great help to the staff, the primary and the kg learners convenient place to toilet. At first, the toilet facilities always get flooded when it rains and it made the toilet usage to be very difficult by the staff and the learners. The kg toliets were more threatful to the learners.
But these problems are now solved now by GSA which the photos say it all. It has also given the school a nice look.
On behalf of the staff, the learners, the SMC, PTA, the entire community and myself, we show a great gratitude to GSA for coming to our aid to renovate our primary and kg toilet facilities for us.
We are also greatful to Madam Jo who warmly received and processed our application to the board for decision making which led to our application approval.
We also thank Mr. Ohene for his tremendous effort to leading to the transfer and receiving of the grant even when the money was mistakenly transferred to different rural bank from Apex Bank. He stood behind us with the evidence documents to the receival of the money.
We say God richly bless all the members of GSA with divine protection over this harmful covid 19 pandemic.
Ayekooooo!!! to GSA.
Dear Jo, as Oliver Twist always ask for more, we humbly appeal to GSA to help build a new urinal facilities for the staff and the learners because the school has no urinal facilities for appropriate disposal of urine.
Because of the lack of urinal facilities the learners urinate indiscriminately and which makes it  very difficult to control them and this can lead to an outbreak of diseases.
We again count on your great support to my school Owabi primary this our second pressing sanitation need as you welcome sanitation applications in October this year.
Thank you.
Owabi Primary School

New toilet facilities at Owabi Primary School