Catholic Bishop blames successive governments for poor infrastructure in rural schools

BY: Haruna Yussif Wunpini
Most Rev. Joseph Afrifa-Agyekum
Most Rev. Joseph Afrifa-Agyekum

The Catholic Bishop of the Koforidua Diocese, Most Rev. Joseph Afrifa-Agyekum, has blamed past and present governments for doing little to improve the infrastructure of basic schools, especially in the rural areas.

The lack of infrastructure, he said, would make it almost impossible for such schools to produce students for the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, thus making it exclusive for students from good basic schools in the urban areas and cities.

The Catholic Bishop stated this in an interview with the Daily Graphic after preaching a sermon in Koforidua, the Eastern Regional capital.

He said to enable pupils or students in basic schools in the rural areas to benefit from STEM, the government as a matter of urgency, must improve the poor infrastructure of such schools to enhance teaching and learning.


Most Rev. Afrifa-Agyekum also called for collaboration among education stakeholders, namely the government, which is the major stakeholder, retired educationists, parents, as well as the University of Education Winneba and the University of Cape Coast, which had been set up to direct educational development to make inputs for the formulation of policies.

According to him, if such stakeholders collectively made inputs, most of the challenges facing basic schools would be avoided.

Most Rev. Afrifa-Agyekum said although the government was rolling out 32 new STEM schools, the science resource centres in the senior high schools (SHS) that were already in existence must also be improved.

He stated that the science resource centres in the SHSs across the country had either been abandoned, ill-equipped or collapsed.

Most Rev. Afrifa-Agyekum expressed his appreciation to the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for the introduction of the free SHS, and indicated that even though it had been facing challenges, such challenges would be addressed.


On corruption, the Catholic Bishop lashed out at those in the various public and private offices, who demanded money or other items before rendering services.

Most Rev. Afrifa-Agyekum also stated that there were ghost names on the government payroll, and after they had been cleaned, the perpetrators had been left off the hook and called for their prosecution.

He said if those involved in corrupt practices at the lower level put a stop to such bad behaviours, they would then be in the position to check those at the top, including politicians involved in corruption.

That, according to the Catholic Bishop, would ensure a clean and prosperous Ghana.