The Bishop of the Diocese of Damongo and Chairman of the Ghana Prisons Council, Most Rev. Peter Paul Angkyier has said the whole of Northern Ghana would have been 50 years behind if not for the Catholic Church.
Speaking at a ceremony to inaugurate a six-unit classroom block for St. Theresa of the Child Jesus school complex at Canteen in the West Gonja District of Northern Region, he said the church had to fight with the colonial powers to introduce formal education in Northern Ghana, beginning from Navrongo in the Upper-East Region.
In the West Gonja District,he said the oldest school,St.Anne's R/C school complex,was built by the Catholic Church of which he is a product.
"Since the time of the early missionaries,education has been a central part of the mission of the Catholic Church....Why? Because,it is the basis for and the key to the development of the human capital of every society....The Catholic Church has embarked on this, and for those who may not know,I often say:if not for the Catholic Church,the whole of the Northern part of Ghana would have been, perhaps,50 years behind.The church had to fight with the colonial powers to introduce formal education in Northern Ghana, beginning from Navrongo," he said.
Education and human promotion he said, are a central dimension of the mission of the Catholic Church.Catholic education according to him, aims at promoting the wholistic and integral development of the youth, adding that, intellectual knowledge without the fear of God,without the spirit of dedication to service, without discipline, sacrifice and heard work cannot lead to meaningful development.
He said Ghana has no future without a responsible youth who are well prepared to develop their gifts and talents for leadership and education is the means to achieving this aim.
Mrs.Mary Thereni,who represented Cross Catholic said she was very happy to be in Africa for the first time and that first time is in Ghana and for that matter, Damongo-Canteen.
She said they were very happy to have such a strong partnership with the Catholic Church,and that they believe in the dignity of every human person.
The school project she disclosed,is a donation from a woman who feels she is blessed and takes it as a responsibility to bless others.
"We believe in the dignity of every human person.All people should have the opportunity of a good education and social services... The school you see here,is from a donation from a woman who feels she has been very blessed and feels it is her responsibility to be a blessing to others, Mary Stephen Swaister is the donor from Cross Catholic. She is a wonderful wonderful Catholic woman and a very dear friend of mine," she said.
She further stated that,her organisation acts as a bridge for people to learn and share,and even though they bring the school project as a gift, they expect a gift of support, joy and resilience from the managers of the facility.She revealed they have already been building in Damongo, water wells and they have plans to build two more schools.
Speaker-upon-speaker lauded the Catholic Church for its effort at promoting quality education and human development.
With full funding from the Cross Catholic Outreach of USA under the Pope's Council of charity,the cost of the building is Ghc485,000 and comes along with an ultramodern office complex,headteacher's quarters and a storehouse.