The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG), Reverend Professor Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante, has called for stronger collaboration with government in the educational sector for better outcomes.
For him, the Church was a key stakeholder in the provision of quality education and therefore must be consulted widely by government in every policy that sought to change the direction of education in the country.
The Moderator mentioned the pre-tertiary education bill currently before Parliament to decentralize education provision at the district level and the comprehensive sex education to be introduced as a curriculum in schools, as some of the policies that the Church had not been consulted.
Rev. Prof. Mante was speaking at the opening of a three-day stakeholder meeting of all heads of Presbyterian Senior High schools and Teacher Training Colleges, dubbed ‘the Moderators Consultation on Education’ in Koforidua, on the theme “Enhancing Quality Education Delivery in Presbyterian Institutions-The Role of Administrators”.
The meeting was to discuss effective ways and strategies to managing educational institutions of the Church in terms of discipline, practice and infrastructure development as a partner to government in education delivery in the country.
On the Bill that sought to decentralize education at the district level, the Moderator noted that such move would create a wide disparity between the schools since the well-endowed districts would be able to provide for their schools well, whiles the deprived district would be left deprived based on their situation.
Whiles, he admitted that decentralization was the way to go, Rev. Mante, was of the view that in matters such as education, any move to decentralize its administration must be given a critical look with a wide consultation with key stakeholders such as the church and expressed dissatisfaction that the Church was not consulted on that.
On the Comprehensive Sex Education, that is to be introduced into the educational curriculum, he made it clear that per the documents that had been sighted so far, which gives right to children to control their sexual lives, would breakdown morals and values and the Church would resist it.
Reacting to the concerns of the Moderator, the Deputy-Director General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Mr Anthony Boateng, said “it cannot be right that the Church was not consulted on this matter,” and promised to send the sentiment of the Moderator for redress.
He explained that the comprehensive sex education document had nothing on homosexual or lesbianism in principle, but admitted that the dictates of the document had the tendency to eventually lead to high sexual immorality in our youth and that the programme had been put on hold.
According to him, there were indications that many Ghanaians were not in favour and assured that GES would not push for any curriculum that would lead to moral decadence in society and therefore would continue to scrutinize the document as well as engage with all stakeholders including the Church.
The President of the Presbyterian University College (PUC), Reverend Prof. Emmanuel Adow-Obeng, said the Church must step up its role in education, noting that management of Presbyterian schools had not been the best over the years.
He said the leadership “of our schools has become business as usual looking at the state of our schools and the kind of things that go on, we must show a difference in terms of character molding, practice and maintenance of our schools”.