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18.11.2005 General News

Catholic Bishops criticise computer selection into SSS

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Kumasi, Nov. 18, GNA - The Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference has criticized the computerization of admissions of candidates to Senior Secondary Schools (SSS) by the Ghana Education Service (GES), describing it as dehumanising and unethical.

A communiqu=E9 issued at the end of its annual meeting at Agona in the Konongo-Mampong Diocese and signed by Most Reverend Lucas Abadamloora, President of the Conference, said, "We are worried about the dehumanising and unethical consequences of this system of processing admissions to SSS. We consider this system to be highly questionable, if not, totally objectionable to true education." According to the communiqu=E9, the system was a denial of the fundamental right of parents to choose the school for their children to study.

It said there should have been enough and proper consultations of all stakeholders to guide the introduction of the system and questioned the chance the computerization gave to owners of schools which had been brought under Government control to have a say in the selection of students.

The communiqu=E9 said the church had the right and obligation to own schools so that parents who wished might have the fullest liberty to choose church schools for their children.

"We insist that all Ghanaians have the inalienable right to integral education. We also insist that Christians have the right to a Christian education, just as Muslims have a right to Islamic education and others have the right to the type of education that they want," it stressed.

The communiqu=E9 said parents were to be recognised as being primarily and principally responsible for their children's education, and there was the need for them to make important decisions for their children.

It called for more attention to be paid to vocational and technical education to give the youth skills that would help sustain their future.

The communiqu=E9 deplored the increasing level of indiscipline in society and cited the recent lynching of a public examination invigilator by candidates and said the incident was only a symptom of the unimaginable depth of the indiscipline that was steadily but surely eating its deadly way into every sector of the society. It commended efforts by the Government to combat crime in society but urged it to provide more personnel and equipment to the police especially those in rural areas to be able to fight crimes. The communiqu=E9 congratulated the Black Stars on their qualification for the World Cup in Germany in 2006 and wished them success.

It appealed to sports men and women to use sports as a means of unifying the country and compete keenly among themselves but in the spirit of sportsmanship and love.

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