Churches must show commitment to the maintenance of educational infrastructure.
6/27/2012 2:30:07 PM -
Koforidua, June 26, GNA - In December 2008, the Odumase Presbyterian Junior High School building collapsed during school hours and killing a 13-year old boy, Bernard Nartey and injuring three other persons.
The collapsed building was built in 1883 during the time of the Basel Missionaries and had not seen any major rehabilitation until that fateful day when the unfortunate incident occurred.
Once again, the Odumase Krobo Presbyterian Primary School, the basic counter part of the Junior High School (JHS) that collapsed and killed master Nartey is in a deplorable state, posing similar threats to the lives of the pupils and teachers.
The dilapidated school block said to have been built in 1873 is still being used for regular classes despite the warning signs of falling debris during heavy downpour and imminent collapse and hope that the Church would not wait for the worse to occur before taking action.
Indeed the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) is no doubt one of the strong allies of government in terms of development and has made numerous contributions in making education, health, and other social services accessible to many Ghanaians in different parts of the country.
Successive governments have praised and commended the Church for being a committed ally in the educational efforts of government and indeed many have come to rely on its proverbial Presbyterian discipline and high standards of morals on which many societal values and acceptable norms had been based.
The PCG has on record built over 3,000 school infrastructure including kindergartens, JHS, Senior High Schools (SHS), Vocational and Technical Institutes, Colleges of Education, Nurses Training Schools and a University College with three different campuses scattered over Ashanti and Eastern Regions, an achievement which if not described as the first would certainly be rated among the best in the country.
It is in recognition of these achievements that the church must wake up to its onerous responsibility of maintaining all its dilapidated and outmoded school buildings which are found in every part of the country.
It is known that by the educational arrangement, all schools built by the Presbyterian missionaries have been taken over by the government who provide teachers and other logistical needs of the schools whiles the church still maintains the name and exercise some oversight responsibilities.
The Church, therefore, has educational units within all the regions known as the Presbyterian Education unit operating not differently from other religious based educational institutions.
Thus it is sad to note that many basic schools of the church are situated on the same compound with a congregational church building, a manse, church hall and offices with the schools having the odd appearance.
The Odumase Presbyterian Church where the collapsed school is attached to it and killed an innocent boy is one of the plush Presbyterian Church buildings yet the school which was less than 50 yards away was so dilapidated that it was described as death trap.
Being the first mission to establish a teacher training college, it means that the church understood the importance of education so the church should not allow what happened at Odumase Krobo to happen again.