‘State, church must collaborate to provide education’
The Bishop of the Keta-Akatsi Diocese of the Catholic Church, Most Rev. Gabriel Edoe Kumordji, has called on the government to prove its readiness to partner the church in the provision of education.
He complained that for seven years, the government had not signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) the church presented to it on state-church collaboration in providing education.
“So sometimes, when government officials and politicians praise the church for all the good works they are doing in education, we think they are just saying it for public show, otherwise sign the MoU so that people will know that we are collaborating,” he urged.
Most Rev. Kumordji was addressing a durbar to climax the 60th anniversary celebration of the St Paul’s Senior High School at Hatsukope, near Denu in the Volta Region,Obviously unhappy about the situation where none of the politicians invited to the programme attended, apart from the Ketu South Municipal Chief Executive, Bishop Kumordji said the situation was now getting to a head, as the church, a major stakeholder in education, could not contribute to policy decisions or change anything.
“When the school is celebrating its jubilee where are they? But they take decisions to erode and even sideline us. I think it is not fair, so we have to stand up,” he said.
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The Minister of Education, who was to be the guest of honour, was represented by the Municipal Director of Education.
Religious and moral education
Bishop Kumordji also expressed the church’s concern that Religious and Moral Education, which formed the core of the education delivered by faith based schools and the foundation for good behaviour in society, had been expunged from the curriculum of junior and senior high schools, and underscored the need for it to be included in the curricula.
He said it was imperative to bring to the attention of politicians and policy makers that the church was not happy about a non-existent partnership with regard to education delivery.
Torgbuiga Amenya Fiti V
The inability of key politicians, including the Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Letsa, to attend the durbar, did not go down well with the Paramount Chief of Aflao, Torgbuiga Adzonugaga Amenya Fiti V, as well.
Also an old student of the school, he chastised the politicians for undermining St Paul's Secondary School, saying 60 years in the life of an institution was so important for the politicians, who were responsible for making policy decisions, not to be present to be part of the conversation about how to deal with emerging challenges in education, such as indiscipline among students.
Torgbuiga Fiti admonished old students to own the school and to support it.
Professor Raymond Bright Voegborlo, who delivered the keynote address on the theme: "Church-Community Relations: 60 years of educational partnership and search for greater heights," commended the management of the school, staff and students for coming thus far.
Professor Voegborlo, also an old student, underscored the important role of the community and old students in developing the school.
The 1993/1995 Year Group (O & A Levels) renovated a classroom block for the Visual Arts Department at the cost of GH¢45,000.
In all, the old students invested more than GH¢200,000 in various development projects in the school.