Sunyani (B/A), Jan. 23, GNA - Mrs. Angelina Baiden-Amissah, Deputy Minister of Education and Sports in-charge of Basic schools last Saturday, advised members of Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs) not to use the Capitation grant as the basis for their refusal to pay levies agreed at their meetings.
She said Government was against the use of children as pawns for the collection of PTA levies in some schools.
Mrs. Baiden-Amissah gave the advice when inaugurating new buildings for the Sacred Heart Junior Secondary School and Day-Care Centre at Penkwasi Lowcost at Sunyani.
They were a Kindergarten, Primary and JSS schools buildings for urinals, water closet toilets, fence-wall, extension and renovation of the kindergarten, renovation of the nursery, a sound system for the school hall, furniture for JSS, Kindergarten, Nursery and the Local Manager's Office.
Mrs. Baiden-Amissah said, "It is just not right to prevent children from attending lessons because the parent or guardian has failed to pay PTA levies."
Most Reverend Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, Catholic Bishop of Sunyani said the Church and Government had been partners in the provision of quality education in the country, but the partnership had not designed roles for the education units, management and the administration of mission schools.
He said although a Bill had been passed by Parliament on the role of education units, some District Directors had ignored the Bill and intervened in the management of mission schools.
The Catholic Bishop of Sunyani said the Draft Education Bill of 2003, had threatened the existence of mission schools.
He said the bill stipulated that, "religious units will be absorbed into the district directorate of education to reduce costs of administration, and the churches may start new schools if they so wish."
Bishop Gyamfi said the bill was not only an insult but also an affront to the Church.
He appealed to the Government, through the Ministry of Education and Sports the Ghana Education Service (GES), to come out clearly on the partnership with the church in education.
Bishop Gyamfi said Computerization of admission to Senior Secondary Schools usurped the right not only of parents to have their children admitted to schools of their choice but for the schools to decide on students to be admitted.
He commended the Government for the Capitation grant but said it was not enough to maintain and manage the schools and suggested that it should be increased.
"If the grant is not increased many schools will be forced to close down, especially now that it is perceived parents need not pay for their children's education," He added.
Mr. Joseph Henry Mensah, Senior Minister called on teachers in basic schools not to misinterpret administration of the grant to demean its objective.
He said the grant was not introduced to abolish parental responsibility in contributing to education.
Reverend Father Anthony Yaw Akumah, Superior of the Franciscans in Sunyani said the two-storey buildings were built at a cost of 3,076 billion cedis.
He said they were built with assistance from Manos Unidas of Spain, Caritas Anthoniana of Italy, and City Council of Pampions from Spain.
Others were City Councils of Spain, PTA and the Catholic Church of Ghana and Franciscan Friars'.
The Sacred Heart Primary and JSS, begun in 1983 with Mr. Patrick K. Asamoah as the first headteacher (from 1983-1990).