Government asked to transform partnerships on education into action

The Most Reverend Bishop Agyenta, Bishop, of the Navrongo Bolgatanga Catholic Diocese on Friday said partnership agreements on education policies between the State and the Catholic Church towards enhancing education delivery in the country have failed in their efforts.

He said since 1882, many agreements and moves were made between the State, Catholic Church and other faith organizations with respect to quality education delivery but these had not seen the light of day.

Bishop Agenta said the Catholic Church formed a formidable force in the contribution of formal education delivery in the country and so should not be left to the discretion of Ghana Education Service alone for the implementation.

Bishop Agyenta was speaking at a regional education forum attended by Municipal and District Directors of the Ghana Education Service (GES),Faith Based Organizations, Regional and local Catholic Managers under the theme, “The role of the catholic church in quality education in the diocese”.

The forum sought to harmonize ideas from stakeholders that would lead to a national framework for the implementation of the partnership agreement that would halt the falling standards of education in the country.

He said the Catholic Church had success stories to tell when it came to quality education delivery, especially for the rural and marginal in society and was associated with discipline, dedication and excellence.

He blamed the breakdown of moral standards, indiscipline and poor performance of students on inconsistent policies of past and present governments, and the lack of clear national policy on education.

He said the church understood its subsidiary role in government’s efforts to achieving quality and standard education for the country, but it did not relent in its efforts in achieving the Devine mission.

Giving a brief history of the catholic education in the Upper East Region, Bishop Agyenta said catholic education in the North was a well documented fact that noted the visionary foresight of the early Christian missionaries without whom the northern part of the country would have remained largely illiterate.

Bishop Agyenta said though the church had its part of the mandate to announce the mystery of salvation, it also promoted the welfare of man, including his life in the world so far as it was related to his heavenly vocation.

He said this mandate was applied through special tools such as religious education that would bring forth young people in a Christian vision of the world, life, culture and of history.

He said the church therefore pursued educational policies and goals that conformed to objectives of the
national educational system and for that matter needed to be consulted on programmes that were introduced into schools that pertained to its curricular.

He also blamed the church for lack of commitment in pursuing an aggressive policy in quality education delivery which had resulted in the failure to live up to the mandate of Christ to bring his message to all.

Mr Paul Apanga, Regional Director of Education who spoke on the topic “Partnership towards enhancing effective education delivery and governance”, admitted that the education sector experienced a system failure and called for all the partners to revisit the past and pick some lessons from the partnership that existed between the church and the State to enhance quality education.

He blamed this also on governance structures and systems in the sector, saying that heads, managers and supervisors of schools and communities had failed to discharge their roles.

The theme for the forum was “State and Church partnership towards enhancing effective education delivery and governance”. It was organized by the National Catholic Secretariat in collaboration with STAR Ghana in Bolgatanga. GNA

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