THE Catholic Bishop of Sunyani, Most Rev. Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, has urged the government to do more to address the challenges schoolchildren face in rural areas to ensure quality education for all children in the country.
He said many schools in the rural areas lacked modern infrastructure, trained teachers and learning materials and, therefore, the government must address the situation now in order to secure the future of the nation.
“If you go to the rural areas schoolchildren still have classes under trees, while others attend school under deplorable structures, without teachers and learning materials,” he lamented.
Most Rev. Gyamfi, therefore, urged the government not to put impediments in the way of churches that are assisting in the provision of quality education. he also encouraged the churches to go to such deprived communities to set up schools as a way of complementing government’s efforts.
He was speaking at the first opening day and graduation ceremony of the Sacred Heart Basic School at Penkwase, a suburb of Sunyani, the Brong Ahafo Regional capital.
The school was established 26 years ago by the Sunyani Catholic Diocese as a public school to serve the educational needs of the people of Penkwase, Low Cost and New Dormaa, thanks to the Franciscan Friars, a group in the Catholic Church under the auspices of Rev. Fr Martino Corazzin. The Friars had helped to provide the school with modern infrastructure as well as teaching and learning materials to enable the school to compete effectively with other schools in the big towns and cities in the country.
Most Rev. Gyamfi urged parents to take centre stage in the education of their children by providing them with all that they needed to enable them to concentrate on their studies.
He further pledged that the Catholic Church would continue to complement the governments’ efforts to provide quality education for all children in the country.
In an address read on behalf of the Brong Ahafo Regional Director of Education, Mr Samuel A. Amankwa also commended the Catholic Church for complementing the efforts of the government in the delivery of quality education in the country.
He called on teachers to continue to offer their best and eschew negative practices such as lateness to work, absenteeism and drunkeness, since they served as role models for their pupils and the communities they taught.
Mr Nat Dzadey, the Deputy Brong Regional Coordinating Director, who represented the Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, said the government was committed to improving salaries and conditions of service of teachers in the country and had, therefore, given a 20 per cent incentive to teachers who accept postings to the rural areas.
He also gave the assurance that the government would continue to provide infrastructure and post trained teachers to public schools in the region.
Madam Krapah Gyasi, the Headmistress of the school, said the school had won several awards, including the second prize of the National Coca-Cola Essay Writing Competition and it ranked the 28th in Academic Excellence category award of the 2nd National Basic Education Award organised by Ayekoo Excellence Foundation.
She said discipline and academic excellence would continue to be the hallmark of the school and commended the teachers for their hard work.
In all, 89 students of the school who wrote this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and graduated were presented with certificates, while those who excelled academically were presented with prizes.