This year’s Catholic Schools Education Week has been observed in the West Gonja municipality with all the 13 Parishes under the Damongo Diocese of the Savannah region from the last week of January through to the first week of February 2022.
The Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education which usually starts in the last Sunday in January and runs all week, January ending to February 6.
Catholic Schools Week is a national celebration of Catholic education and an opportunity to recognize the importance, the value, and the contributions of Catholic education to the Church and the world.
An annual tradition is commemorated in Catholic Schools with celebrations of masses, open houses, and activities for students, families, parishioners, and community members.
The theme for the 2022 Catholic schools week celebrations was “the role of stakeholders in financing education at the pre-tertiary level”
St. Anne’s Junior High School hosted the the climax of the schools week celebration, the school was founded in 1961.
The Damongo Catholic Diocese has contributed immensely to the growth and development of education in the Savannah region.
At the basic level, the Catholic education unit in the Savannah region has a total of 200 basic schools, which comprises of 65 Kingdagarten schools, 83 primary schools and 52 Junior High Schools.
The Catholic education unit has a total of four (4) second cycle schools in the region.
At the program at St. Anne’s JHS to climax the week long celebrations in Damongo, the Savannah regional manager of Catholic Education Unit Mr. Raphael Lieber applauded the Catholic Church for the vision to bringing education to the door steps of people and called on parents, students, teachers and other stakeholders to develop positive interest towards uplifting education in the West Gonja municipality
He explained that education at the pre-tertiary level needs much attention to provide school children the needed foundation.
Mr. Raphael Lieber said almost every component of education in Ghana today requires funding and therefore a lot needs to be done to raise funds for the schools operation.
“Information Communication and Technology and it’s teaching, requires electricity and computers. This clearly tells us that good financing is needed.
The services of security guard to protect school properties is important but the security officers need to be paid”.
Covid-19 requires of us to wash hands with soap under running water, collection of waste, quiz competitions, education week celebrations, repairs on school structures, stationary and other important components of education are all about funding, he added.
Mr. Raphael Lieber also called on all stakeholders to play their roles effectively to assist the system deliver quality education for this and future generations.
He said the first stakeholder of education is the child and therefore appealed to the school children to take education seriously for a better future.
After the child, other key stakeholders of education are the Ghana education service, teachers, municipal assembly, parents, education units, traditional and religious leaders, partners in education, old students among others.
Mr. Raphael Lieber speaking on the theme ” the role of stakeholders in financing education at the pre-tertiary level”, said stakeholders in the area need to support education to grow so that it will serve as the biggest foundation for all children.
He presupposed that funds can be raised to assist in the running of schools through donations from ‘well to do’ individuals in society, business community, from old students associations, through appeal for funds, receiving support from the traditional and religious authorities and support from the MMDAS .
Other sources that funds can be generated to finance education include support from the office of Member of Parliament, Non Governmental Organizations, setting up of education endowment fund, appeal for fund and church collections.
Mr. Pad Anthony Gornaah, the representative for the West Gonja Municipal Education Director, Mr. Ake Ferguson, stated that the duty of the education directorate among others is, to request for teachers, post them to schools and supervise their activities on the job. The GES is fully committed to making sure education is given to all children of school going age for better future. He urged the children to take their studies serious and remain discipline to achieve their ambitions.
He appealed to parents to develop keen interest in their childrens’ education to help the education directorate deliver very good products for the country.
Mr. Pad Anthony Gornaah however lamented the GES has noticed that some children come to school without basic learning materials such as writing books and called on parents to assist teachers guide their children to a better future.
The Assembly Member for the Canteen electoral area, Hon. Ananpansah B. Abraham disclosed that his office has lobbied to get some furniture for St. Anne’s Junior High School block A and B, and is still in the process to getting more for his former school.
As a former student of St. Anne’s JHS, he promised to inform colleague past students about the challenges the school is faced with, and will join hands with them to intervene to uplift the status of St. Anne’s JHS.
Hon. Abraham also assured he will visit the office of the MCE for West Gonja municipal assembly, Musah Kusubari Karim, to discuss with him the way forward for the school.
Abraham commended the teachers, students and all for their sacrifices towards the school despite the challenges.
The Headmaster of St Anne’s JHS, Iddrisu Umar Joshua expressed gratitude to all stakeholders for the role played so far and appealed to them to up their efforts to help the school overcome challenges. He also urged the school children to learn harder to become responsible future leaders.
Umar Iddrisu disclosed that the school needs ICT center, more furniture, renovation to school structure, and a host of thers.
The program was chaired by Kumartey Kwaku. He thanked the Catholic church for the vision to uplift education in the area and called on stakeholders and partners to help the Catholic education unit to address the challenges schools are faced with.
The week long school week celebrations across the 13 Parishes under the Damongo Diocese saw students undertook clean up activities, health screening and health talks, sporting activities, quiz competitions, among others.
Students from St. Anne’s Girls SHS, pupils of Catholic basic schools, parents, teachers were all present to grace the program, held on Friday, February 4, 2022 at St. Anne’s JHS, Damongo.
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