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11.02.2006 Regional News

Catholic schools don't make sisters and nuns of girls

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Damongo (N/R), Feb. 11, GNA - It is not the aim of the Catholic Church to make Reverend Sisters and Nuns out of girls in areas of the Northern Region it establishes Senior Secondary Schools for females. Mrs Gabriella Wumnaya, Headmistress of the Saint Anne's Girls Senior Secondary School at Damongo in the West Gonja District, who stated this stressed, "The Catholic Church does not force its religious beliefs on people and that religious life is a conscious decision by a mature person".

The Headmistress was reacting to a statement by a parent who wanted to know whether the school was not established to train the girls to become Reverend Sisters and Nuns.

Mrs Wumnaya said the Church established schools to develop the human resource base of the country and not for any parochial interest as perceived by some people.

She was addressing Parent/Teacher Association (PTA) meeting at Damongo on Sunday, to discuss pertinent issues on the growth of the School.

Mrs Wumnaya said, "If the perception is allowed to be rooted in the minds of the people, those of different religious beliefs would not send their children to schools established by the Church and this would in the long term, deny many girls of secondary education in the Northern Region".

She stressed that poverty would continue to be with the people of the three regions in the north if they did not invest in the education of their children, which should be a top priority.

She urged parents to educate people in the district about the school, which she said was the only second cycle institution for girls in the area and appealed to the traditional rulers to help in educating communities on the need to send their children to school.

She appealed to parents to stop the practice of buying medicine from home for their wards, saying, "This practice is becoming alarming in most schools as it has the potential of making the children drug addicts".

"You should rather support them financially so that when they fall sick they could be treated at medical institutions", she advised. Mrs Wumnaya urged the parents to continue to encourage their children to study hard and to monitor their progress in school.

The parent who wanted to know if the school was meant to train Reverend Sisters and Nuns said, "It is all over town that the purpose for opening the school is for the above reason and therefore many parents are hesitant to bring their girls to the school".

The parents appealed to the government, the West Gonja District Assembly, embassies and international non-governmental organisations as well as public-spirited individuals to provide the school with a water tanker to alleviate the suffering of the students.

The girls walk two miles everyday to fetch water from a borehole.