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04.09.2004 General News

Church would not allow govt. to take full control of schools

By GNA

Sereso (B/A), Sept. 4, GNA - The Most Reverend Matthew Akwasi Gyamfi, Catholic Bishop of Sunyani on Friday said the Church would not allow the government to take full control of the administration of its schools.

"The fact that the government is paying the salaries of teachers in our schools does not mean it can dictate on how they should be run ", he said.

Bishop Gyamfi was speaking at the inauguration of a 250 million cedis block of six classrooms for Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Primary School at Sereso in the Sunyani Municipality.

The school was built with the assistance of volunteers from Poland and Germany.

He said the Catholic Church had sought funds to run their schools and to pay the salaries of teachers, adding, they allowed the government "to come into their administration for the sake of the poor who could not afford to pay their school fees".

The Catholic Bishop said it was the aim of the Church to help improve conditions of the rural people by providing schools, clinics and potable water.

"The church is aware of a newly drafted policy by the Ghana Education Service (GES) to be presented to the Government.

"We want the document to be presented to the public for discussions before we also take our decision on it", he said.

Bishop Gyamfi said the church was prepared to run its schools on private lines if the government decided to withdraw all teachers from them.

He explained that, the Church entered into partnership with the government to pay teachers so that children whose parents also paid taxes, could also have access to education.

"We do not want to deny the unfortunate children from benefiting form our schools because running them on private lines would mean that the children would have to pay more fees, which will be impossible in the rural areas", Bishop Gyamfi added.

Rev. Emmanuel W.K. Kusi, Municipal Director of Education, thanked the Catholic Church for supporting government efforts of ensuring that every child had the chance of education.

He asked parents to allow their children to remain in the classroom and study and not to be taking them to the farms during school hours. "These children that we see here today are the same people who will grow up to become doctors, lecturers, lawyers, ministers and presidents, and we have to assist them", Rev. Kusi said.

The Municipal Director advised parents to provide the basic teaching and learning materials to encourage their children to obtain quality education.

.. Rev. Kusi expressed regret that most teachers refused postings to the rural areas because of lack of certain basic amenities and appealed to communities to help provide the needs of teachers posted to their areas.

Father Peter Wojnarowski, a volunteer, said the deplorable conditions under which they saw the children study during a visit in 2001 made the volunteers to decide to build the school.

"The old school was too small and in bad condition and this made us to speak with the volunteers who solicited for funds from their parishes and schools towards the project", he said.

He said in 2003 10 volunteers from Poland and Germany came to Ghana and together with volunteers and former students of Don Bosco Vocational Training Centre (DBVIC) started with the project.

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