PRESIDENT JOHN Agyekum Kufuor at the weekend opened an ultra-modern model school at Hemang in the Kwabre West District of the Ashanti Region.
The school, the first of its kind in the district, was established and financed by one Dr. Kwame Appiah Poku, CEO of NAACHIAA Estates Development Company in Kumasi, who is an indigene of Hemang.
He was supported by the Methodist Church and other benefactors in the region.
President Kufuor commended Dr. Appiah Poku and the Methodist Church for their great vision, explaining that government could not single-handedly cater for all the educational needs of Ghanaians.
According to him, the burden associated with funding education was so enormous that the state could hardly move forward without the support of private stakeholders.
President Kufuor pointed out that it was only when children had access to quality education that the momentum of development would truly keep pace with national aspiration and progress, noting that quality education does impact positively on the health, welfare and general wellbeing of people.
He said good education thrived on a good foundation, and added that the foundation is usually laid at the pre-school level hence government's determination to place the pre-school directly under the Ghana Education Service (GES) so the Service could effectively manage and supervise them.
He maintained that there were compelling reasons for Ghana as a nation to provide good, sound and relevant education to all Ghanaians, particularly the youth and children.
The President expressed excitement and appreciation for the work done by the school authorities, especially for making provision for the children to have some training in ICT.
He however cautioned the school authorities to ensure that the children used the ICT centre positively, noting that the problem with the information age was that both good and bad information are put in the public domain.
“So it is up to the authorities to be careful in exposing the children to the Internet so that the grand vision of the school was not contaminated.”
The Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church in Kumasi Diocese, Rt. Rev. Nuh Ben Abubakar, on his part, stressed the need for President Kufuor to include moral education in the teacher training syllabus so that teachers would have control over the subject at the lower levels.
He also appealed to government to try its best to expand the School Feeding Programme to all schools, as the first phase had successfully been implemented.
The school authorities also appealed to government to provide the school with a school bus, so that brilliant but needy children from the villages in the district could be bused regularly to the school to enjoy some of the facilities.
The President, as part of his efforts to ensure the success of the school, donated GH¢5,000 to it.
In a related development, President Kufuor had joined Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at the St Cyprian Cathedral in Kumasi, as the Special Guest of Honour, to inaugurate the Anglican University College of Technology.
The university will be sited at Manso Nkwanta in the Amansie District, Ashanti Region, with multi-campuses which would house a college or colleges devoted to one or a number of related areas of study.
Prof Ewurama Addy, formerly of the University of Ghana, Legon, will be the first President of the University College.
President Kufuor, in his speech, commended the Anglican Church for their determination to move education to higher levels.
He said the NPP government approved of the establishment of more science and technology schools and universities in the country, hence its support to the dreams and vision of the Anglican Church.
“It is precisely for that reason that in response to an application by the Anglican Church, it had been given Resolute Amansie Limited's infrastructure and facilities at Manso Nkran in Ashanti Region to set up a technical university.
“My government did not hesitate to give approval for the property to be released specifically for that purpose due to the interest it has in the project.”
President Kufuor stressed the need for Ghanaians to be equipped with the necessary problem-solving skills to man the many scientific and technological advancements needed to move the country forward.
The Asantehene, launching the university, said the Anglican Church, to which the royal family belongs, had played pioneering roles in education.
He advised Ghanaians to strive to contribute and support education, saying it was for that reason that the Otumfuo Education Fund was established.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu said although the country had done modestly well in promoting education, more still needed to be done in the area of science and technology.
Dr. Kwame Addo Kufuor, former Defence Minister, who chaired the occasion, commended religious bodies in the country which have based their mission on a tripod of Christian morality, educational enlightenment and provision of health service.
Giving a brief history of the school, Rt. Rev. Francis Quarshie said the university was aimed at producing graduates who would be technically trained to satisfy the country's technical needs.
He disclosed that the university would focus on undergraduate and graduate programmes, saying research, practical applications of research and entrepreneurship would be high on the agenda.