Presbyterian Church commends President on free SHS policy

BY: Zadok K. Gyesi
Rev Dr Victor Okoe Abbey
Rev Dr Victor Okoe Abbey

The Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) has commended President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his government for introducing the free Senior High School policy.

It also lauded the government for proposing to introduce the double track system to provide more opportunities for students to pursue secondary education.

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According to the church, the free SHS would bring relief to many families and ensure equity in access to secondary education in the country, while the double track system would also increase enrolment.

“We know what the free education in the northern part of the country has done to national development. Naturally if it is done on a nationwide basis, it is the whole country which stands to benefit.”

The acting Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rev Dr Victor Okoe Abbey, made the commendation at the opening of the 18th General Assembly of the church at Akropong Akuapem in the Eastern Region last Saturday.


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The 18th General Assembly is on the theme: “Go and Make Disciples of All Nations”(Mathew 28:19)”.

The general assembly, which is the highest decision-making body of the PCG, is being attended by about 300 commissioners, and corresponding members from all the 21 presbyteries in Ghana and from abroad.

Election

Tomorrow, the assembly will elect a new moderator to take over from the current Moderator, Right Rev. Professor Cephas Narh Omenyo, who has been sick for more than one year.

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The General Assembly Council of the PCG took a decision last Friday to declare the moderator’s seat vacant so that a new leader could be elected for the church.

Right Rev. Professor Omenyo was elected Moderator of the church in August 2016 at Abetifi Kwahu during the 16th General Assembly and was inducted into office on Sunday, December 4, 2016.

Unfortunately,he fell sick in May 2017 during his first official visit to the Europe Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana to ordain some ministerial probationers in London.

Commendation

While congratulating the government for showing such bold and visionary leadership, Rev. Dr Okoe Abbey urged the government to be mindful of the fact that wisdom or knowledge did not reside in any one group of people.

He, therefore, appealed to the government to engage all stakeholders in discussing educational matters in an open, candid and constructive manner for the benefit of the whole country.

Corruption

Rev. Dr Okoe Abbey expressed deep appreciation to President Akufo-Addo for his bold approach towards the fight against corruption and bribery.

The acting Moderator said the PCG welcomed the setting up of the Office of the Special Prosecutor, and congratulated those appointed so far to run the office.

The clergy urged the government not to pay lip service to the fight against corruption.

He called for transparency and integrity in investigations to ascertain corrupt practices and demanded that culprits be duly prosecuted in accordance with the laws of the country.

Rev Dr Okoe Abbey, therefore, called on all Christians to join hands with the government to eliminate bribery and corruption.

He pledged that the Christian community would stand arm-in-arm with the government in a nationwide coordinated campaign to create maximum awareness of the ills of the system and put in place a stronger whistle-blowers’ infrastructure to support the drive.

Fruitful partnerships

The Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Mr Kofi Dzamesi, in a speech commended the PCG for playing major roles in various sectors of the economy, including education, health, agriculture and sanitation to help develop the country over the years.

He said the church, according to the Ghana Health Services, was the third largest provider of health services in Ghana at the moment.

“We all doff our hats for the Presbyterian Church of Ghana for all these immense social service interventions towards national development,” he said.

Mr Dzamesi gave the assurance that the government would continue to provide the enabling environment for such fruitful partnerships to materialise.