Ghana: Return All Mission Schools to Religious Bodies – MPs Urged Gov’t

Ghana: Return All Mission Schools to Religious Bodies – MPs Urged Gov’t

Ghana’s-ParliamentMembers of Parliament have called on government to hand over all mission schools to their original owners for proper supervision and management to help restore academic discipline.

The legislators who were contributing to a statement on the floor of the House yesterday by the MP for Akatsi North, Peter Nortsu-Kotoe, alluded that most of these schools were facing a number of challenges and that a takeover would help restore the fallen standards of education in the country.

Mr Nortsu-Kotoe in his statement called on the Ghana Education Service (GES) to shed itself of functions they find difficult to perform and hand over the management of mission schools to the religious bodies for effective management at the pre-tertiary level.

“The role of mission schools in the country cannot be overemphasized. Apart from establishing the schools, religious teachings and discipline among the staff and pupils are the hallmark,” he said, adding that students would be taught to avoid moral weakness by the religious institutions.

Majority leader and Minister in Charge of Government Business in Parliament, Dr Benjamin Bewa-Nyog Kunbuor, in a contribution urged universities and other tertiary educational institutions to desist from producing graduates for the current job market.

“University education is not a market related arrangement. Critical minds are to be trained to adjust with the changing conditions of the market,” he said, adding, “If we continue to train graduates for our current market and the market condition changes tomorrow, what will happen to us?”

He said what was important was for the universities to train critical minds that could adapt to any market condition and still make a difference.

“Nobody should be a market graduate because market conditions changes and any graduate who becomes a market graduate becomes irrelevant when the market conditions changes.” he said.

Dr Kunbuor called for effective collaboration between the state and the religious bodies in the management of educational institutions, especially at the basic level.

A former Minister for Education and Member of Parliament for Secondi, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, in a contribution said the management of schools at the basic level had become a challenge for government and called for realistic policies that would give public schools the opportunity to generate revenue for effective management.

He suggested that “well-endowed” basic and senior high schools in Ghana should be made fee-paying institutions to free scarce national resources to support struggling public schools.

Papa Owusu-Ankomah stressed the need to “raise the bigger questions as to whether we need not think out of the box and see how best we can deliver excellence in education.”

“We are a religious country but we are not a denominational country. So when it comes to doctrine, are we then going to say that if you attend Methodist School it is the Methodist doctrine that should be applied? But I am saying that all these issues can be discussed and then we get a certain outcome because I know that many of the basic schools in this country that were set up by the Mission Schools are being funded to some extent by the churches,” he said.

Minister for Information and Media Relations, Mr Mahama Ayariga, in a contribution also called for a national debate on the issue to ensure effective running of such school and restore discipline in schools.

Other contributors to the statement included the MP for Asawase, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, and the MP for Weija Gbawe, Comfort Abrah.

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