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24.04.2007 Religion

Uninformed Protest

By Daily Graphic
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Some concerned youths within the Catholic Church in Sunyani are said to be fuming with anger because of the decision of the church to establish a campus of the Catholic University at Tantra Hill, Accra.

The concerned youth may be of the feeling that when that happens, the development of the Fiapre campus could be neglected or would suffer.

It is unfortunate that the concerned youth see the attempt to expand the base of the Catholic University beyond Fiapre as a great injustice against the faithful of the Sunyani Diocese, as if the whole process is an exclusively diocesan inspired dream.

What is important, in our view, is for the Sunyani Catholic youth to appeal to the hierarchy of the church not to abandon Fiapre for Tantra Hill.

Otherwise, the raving and ranting can only be described as selfish, self-centred, conceited and uninformed, since the Fiapre campus will suffer no loss merely because a new campus is to be sited in Accra.

Indeed, it is a bit high-handed for the concerned youth to accuse the Catholic Bishops' Conference of insincerity to the extent that “they cannot face the congregation in all sincerity to preach about obedience to God's Word, since they cannot stick to very simple rules they have all agreed to in the trust deed”.

To say the least, this is very irreverent and impolite, especially if we consider that it has been issued just because a satellite campus of the university is to be established outside Fiapre.

All the infrastructure should not be in place to make the campus complete. More important, it may well be that patronage of the Tantra Hill campus could provide the catalyst for transforming Fiapre.

As a matter of fact, a university worth its name is not measured in terms of the physical structures. The quality of a university derives from its faculty and, therefore, the youth must not be frenetic about the new development.

In modern terms, institutions of higher learning have to be dynamic or diffused, especially to capture the market. That is how the University of Education and the University for Development Studies have a spread of campuses, specialising in different fields to help expand the frontiers of learning and equity in the provision of education.

The Catholic University is run with funds from Catholic faithful within and outside Ghana. It is not the property of the Sunyani Diocese.

While it is true that the people of Fiapre made sacrifices and endured deprivations to make for the institution, that is not why no expansion must take place until everything needed at Fiapre is in place.

Looked at in another way, Fiapre citizens outside Sunyani who are qualified could still enrol at the new campus of the Catholic University. The difference, however, is that if the people of Fiapre had not consented for their land to be taken over, there would not have been a Catholic University.

Our appeal to the Catholic hierarchy is that the Fiapre deed must be redeemed, alongside any expansion programmes.