Regional News Sun, 12 Jun 2005

Bishop bemoans teachers' remuneration

Hohoe, June 12, GNA-Right Reverend Francis A. Lodonu, Bishop of the Ho Diocese of the Catholic Church on Saturday said in spite of the pivotal role of teachers to the transformation and development of the nation, they continue to receive inadequate remuneration. He however, exhorted teachers not to be pessimistic but remain optimistic that things would soon change for the better.

Bishop Lodonu made the remark at Hohoe during the maiden homecoming congress of alumni of Saint Francis Training College (OFA), which is a prelude to the centenary celebration in 2008, dubbed: "Coming back to build Franco-Our Alma Mater". He urged teachers to show contentment towards their situation as thousands were still roaming the corridors of offices searching for non-existing jobs saying, "to be a teacher is to be poor financially but rich in wisdom, love and ready to serve, which are tenets of Christianity."

Bishop Lodonu entreated all and sundry to familiarize themselves with their history, as it is a fulcrum that binds the past to the present and future endeavours. He commended Reverend Francis Xavier, a German missionary for his vision in establishing the college in 1908. He noted that conflicts have arisen worldwide as a result of people reneging on their history and since homecoming events are to renew allegiance, the history of Francis would not get extinct. Bishop Lodonu appealed to people of the region to change a positive attitude towards fundraising activities as pertained elsewhere in order to energise the communal and self-help spirit necessary for development to thrive.

Togbega Gabusu VI, Paramount Chief of Gbi Traditional Area, who presided, urged government not to give lip service to issues bothering on the general welfare of teachers saying, "Teachers are the pivot that churns out all professionals." He asked the trainee teachers to respect their profession, eschew all negative tendencies and "allow Franco to pass through them and not vice versa." Mr Godwin Nyamalor, Volta Regional Manager of Catholic Education Unit, an alumnus said one billion cedis was earmarked to enable them to undertake infrastructure development including the rehabilitation of the old assembly block, construction of a multi-purpose assembly-hall and fence hall, which would be done by soliciting for funding from alumni and corporate entities.

Mr Joseph Benyingi, Acting National President of OFA said the homecoming was a turning point geared towards re-awakening the alumni on the need to pay back a fraction of their benefits towards the development of their alma mater and complement government's efforts in improving on facilities, to enhance teaching and learning. Mr Denis Agbenuvor, the Principal of the College said inadequate staff residential accommodation and place of convenience were some of the problems facing a student population of 690. He said the School continues to excel in discipline, academic and sporting activities and was optimistic that the standards and status quo would be maintained. An amount of 50 million cedis was realized during an appeal for funds.

Source: GNA