Regional News of Thursday, 21 June 2012

Source: GNA

Catholic Educational Unit asks President to refuse bad donor support

The Reverend Father Addae Boateng, General Manager of Catholic Educational Unit (CEU) has called on the Head of State to say no to any donor support which denies Ghanaians their dignity and identity.

Rev. Fr. Addae Boateng said the church was the hope of the voiceless and that many were looking up to it to help the Government say no to any support with conditions intended to “deny us (Ghanaians) of our dignity and identity”.

He asked President John Evans Atta Mills to have the moral courage to say no to donors who attach conditions that sought to do away with partnerships with religious bodies as well as teaching of religious and moral education in schools.

Rev. Fr. Addae Boateng made the call in Cape Coast on Thursday at a day’s Regional Dialogue and Consultative meeting of stakeholders in education on the theme: “Church and Government partnership towards enhancing education service delivery and governance in Ghana.

The workshop, which would be held in all the 10 regions was organised by the National Catholic Secretariat in collaboration with Strengthening Transparency, Accountability and Responsiveness (STAR), an NGO to mobilise public support for the formalisation and legal backing to the State-Church partnership in education delivery.

It was attended by about 50 participants made up of religious and educational bodies, retired educationists and traditional authorities, drawn from Central, Western and Greater Accra Regions.

Rev. Fr. Addae Boateng noted that even though the State-Church partnership dated as far back as the pre-independence era, it had suffered setbacks over the years.

He said this was as a result of certain directives, policies and practices in the educational management being introduced with the tendency of reducing the control of the church in the management of schools operating under the partnership.

“All educational reforms in the context of UN’s agenda are nothing but a programme to eliminate the influence of religion from public life,” he noted.

In a speech read on his behalf, Central Regional Director of Education, Mr Kofi Safo Kantanka observed that the Ministry of Education was engaged in a decentralisation process that was restructuring the whole education system so as to improve upon efficiency, accountability and involve the grassroots in decision making and local resources mobilisation.

Mrs Doris Ashun, Regional Manager of the CEU pointed out that since 1999, the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference had taken several steps with Government to review their partnership in education, but this had yielded no fruits.

She said a joint committee to review and draft a new partnership agreement completed and submitted its report to Government in July 2008, but this had since not been formalised by Government endorsement.

She pointed out that as a result of this, the Religious Unit’s positions on the new organisational Chart (organogram) for the Ghana Education Service was missing, signifying that the church had been sidelined in the decentralisation policy.

Participants underscored the quality education and products' mission schools were producing and reiterated calls on Government to continue to partner the church to be able to deliver excellent service to Ghanaians.**