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Saint Mary's Seminary Secondary School haunted by its name

Sat, 24 May 2008 Source: GNA

A GNA Feature by Wilhelm Gaitu

Ho, May 21, GNA - Saint Mary's Seminary Secondary School, Lolobi is a hide-away Roman Catholic oriented second cycle school about eight kilometres from Hohoe, little heard of in the country but with a rich academic and disciplinary record. No wonder, therefore, that many parents in the country, privy to the qualities of the school, send their wards there perhaps in response to its motto: Domine Adsum (here I come), despite its rural setting, because it provides a congenial environment for serious academic work by conscientious students.

Set on a hilly terrain, enveloped by lush vegetation and a constant breeze of fresh air, Saint Mary's Seminary Secondary School, was established by His Lordship Most Reverend Anthony Konings then Bishop of Keta Diocese, on 29 September 1961 as a minor seminary for the Diocese. The School's emblem consisting of the map of Ghana with a cross running diagonally across it and a little white star at its right lower corner likened the school to the obscure manger into which Jesus Christ was born and from where his star was seen by the three Wise Men (the Magi) from the East.

Assuredly many stars have risen from the school and others are still rising to make their significance felt in the horizons of society.

But instead of the gifts from the "Magi" the school is being haunted by its name. Names are said to influence one's life, this is, however, not to suggest that the name of the school be changed because of the need to preserve its corporate identity. The stagnation and deterioration of the school's infrastructure raises the question whether it is the responsibility of the Catholic Church to develop the school because it is also a seminary or the Government because it is a secondary school. One dares to say that the sorry state of infrastructure and logistics at the school might be a reflection of the tussle between the Government and the Catholic Church over which of them has authority and, therefore, responsibility for providing and upgrading infrastructure at the school. The school has from the time of its establishment managed with a one storey block divided into two houses namely Saint Xavier and Saint William Houses and one other house even though the student population has increased over the years.

A rickety small bus, which breaks down constantly is all the school could boast of as its means of transport. Indeed the general decline in the physical fortunes of the school is a pity especially when Government is infusing massive doses of investment in the infrastructure development in second cycle schools in the country including other Catholic schools. After all students in Saint Mary's Seminary Secondary School like their colleagues in other schools deserve the best facilities and environment for their intellectual development as a right not a privilege. But for the Parent Teacher Association of the school, which has borne the burden of its development, the institution would have been a more pitiful sight to behold. Despite that the school continues to hold aloft the flag of academic excellence and high standard of discipline, as conscientious students there like the lotus flower have remained untainted and undaunted by the deprivations surrounding them. It is time, therefore, for both the Government and the Catholic Church to bury their hatchets if any and together with other stakeholders such as the old students rally round to fast track a rescue operation in the school.

Columnist: GNA