28 Dec '14

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Africa’s Best High Schools; Accra Academy Ranked 7th

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There has been a marked rise of very good secondary schools all over the continent. Whilst government schools within African countries started off the best, following independence, much has changed. For the most part, private schools (we consider missionary school as private) outperform government schools. In addition, international

schools have taken Africa by storm. Below is the list of 100 best secondary schools.

1. Grey College South Africa
2. Rift Valley Academy Kenya
3. King Edward VII School South Africa
4. Hilton College South Africa
5. St. George’s College Zimbabwe
6. Prince Edward School Zimbabwe
7. International School of Kenya Kenya
8. Accra Academy Ghana
9. Lycée Lamine Guèye Senegal
10. Adisadel College Ghana
11. St John’s College Houghton South Africa
12. Maritzburg College South Africa
13. Lycée Guebre Mariam Ethiopia
14. Selborne College South Africa
15. St Alban’s College South Africa
16. Lycée Lyautey Morocco
17. Durban High School South Africa
18. Grey High School South Africa
19. St Andrew`s College South Africa
20. Gateway High School Zimbabwe
21. Glenwood High School South Africa
22. Rainbow International School Uganda
23. Lycée Moulay Youssef Morocco
24. Kearsney College South Africa
25. St. James High School Zimbabwe
26. Wynberg Boys High School South Africa
27. Pretoria Boys High School South Africa
28. Lycée Français de Tananarive Madagascar
29. Mauritius College of the Air Mauritius
30. International School Moshi Tanzania
31. Le Collège Mermoz Ivory Coast
32. Strathmore School Kenya
33. Parktown Boys’ High School South Africa
34. International School of Tanganyika Tanzania
35. Holy Child School Ghana
36. Christ The King College Onitsha Nigeria
37. Graeme College South Africa
38. Jeppe High School for Boys South Africa
39. Alliance High School Kenya
40. Hillcrest School Jos Nigeria
41. Kingswood College South Africa
42. Hamilton High School Zimbabwe
43. Lincoln International School Uganda
44. Lycée Victor Hugo Morocco
45. Alexandra High School South Africa
46. École Normale Supérieure Guinea
47. Ghana International School Ghana
48. Arundel School Zimbabwe
49. Rondebosch Boys’ High School South Africa
50. Starehe Boys’ Centre Kenya
51. American International School of Johannesburg South Africa
52. Victoria Park High School South Africa
53. Methodist Boys High School Sierra Leone
54. Harare International School Zimbabwe
55. Methodist Girls High School Sierra Leone
56. Lenana School Kenya
57. St. Andrew’s High School Malawi
58. Benoni High School South Africa
59. Waddilove High School Zimbabwe
60. Roedean School South Africa
61. Wykeham Collegiate Independent School for Girls South Africa
62. Lycee Francais du Caire Egypt
63. Christian Brothers’ College Bulawayo Zimbabwe
64. Kamuzu Academy Malawi
65. Mount Pleasant High School Zimbabwe
66. Mfantsipim School Ghana
67. Chisipite Senior School Zimbabwe
68. Gayaza High School Uganda
69. Kutama College Zimbabwe
70. Wheelus High School Libya
71. Michaelhouse School South Africa
72. Westville Boys’ High School South Africa
73. Namilyango College Uganda
74. Government College Umuahia Nigeria
75. Muir College South Africa
76. Wesley Girls High School Ghana
77. Alexander Sinton High School South Africa
78. Lycée Faidherbe Senegal
79. Royal College Port Louis Mauritius
80. Lycée La Fontaine Niger
81. Lycée Lyautey de Casablanca Morocco
82. Settlers High School South Africa
83. Nyeri High School Kenya
84. Pinetown Boys’ High School South Africa
85. Kings’ College Lagos Nigeria
86. Lycée Français Liberté Mali
87. Paarl Boys’ High School South Africa
88. St. Paul’s College Namibia
89. Tafari Makonnen School Ethiopia
90. Wynberg Girls’ High School South Africa
91. Bingham Academy Ethiopia
92. Port Shepstone High School South Africa
93. Clapham High School South Africa
94. Hillcrest Secondary School Kenya
95. South African College School South Africa
96. Lycée Blaise Diagne Senegal
97. St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls South Africa
98. Townsend High School Zimbabwe
99. St.Gregory’s College Nigeria
100. St. Patrick School Zimbabwe

The Raking Methodology:

Expectedly the rankings of the “100 Best Secondary Schools in Africa” were met with displeasure from most of the people who left their comments on the article. Most people emailed the editor regarding the methodology that was used in compiling the list.

I should state here that ranking high schools from different countries across the continent is always going to be difficult as different countries follow different curriculums and take part in completely different regional assessments.

The author selected the list of schools that have historical prominence at a national and regional level. That is the reason most schools that featured on the list are also quite old, some started well before their corresponding countries became independent. This is especially the case for most public secondary/high schools. Here it is important to note that not all schools take part in regional assessments. Yet, not a single school was eliminated for lack of regional accomplishments. Schools that were very good at a national level, yet lacked regional presence were also considered given that they did not have any regional assessments to partake.

The author then went over the list of a few hundred schools selecting the schools that continued to lead at a national and regional level especially in the past few years when there has been national and regional rankings for secondary/high schools. It is also important to state that countries have different rakings and they rank different criteria which made it difficult to harmonize the list.

In addition to how the different schools have performed at a national level, schools whose students win prestigious scholarships and fellowships at a national and international level earned points above those that did not. On this, some schools had an advantage over others in that the data was readily available on their own websites or their Wikipedia pages. International schools are a case in point.

  • And success of individuals did not translate into success of the school that that particular individual attended. For instance, Koffi Annan was not enough to have Mfantsipim School (Ghana) on the list. Performance of a school is much more than what one individual had done.  Mfantsipim School (Ghana) has done much more than nurturing a UN Secretary General.
  • The article mentioned, “Most of these schools are old, with tremendous wealth of history. The performance of such schools did take consistency into consideration to eliminate the quick rise and quick fall cases. In addition, great schools such as the African Leadership Academy have yet to prove themselves over years. Only time will tell whether they will remain at the highest level they are at.”
  • Some readers may disagree with the way we construct our rankings methodology. Let us know if we missed an important component below in comments.

While we should always celebrate success of private enterprise and involvement of the private sector in education, it is important to ask the question; “Is the high performance of private schools at the cost of public schools?” This is an important question since the majority of the continent lack the means to pay for the skyrocketing costs of private institutions and choose instead to rely on public schools notwithstanding the fact that each African deserves good quality education. While I do not believe that a cap on secondary school fees will help, I stand convinced that African governments need to spend more on secondary school education.

Source: Africa News

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