Government committed to offering quality education – Deputy Minister

Mr Eric Opoku, Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, has underscored the Government’s commitment to providing requisite facilities for quality and relevant education at the basic, second cycle and tertiary education levels to adequately prepare the youth for responsibilities in the future.

The Deputy Minister, who was speaking at the official inauguration of St. Ambrose College of Education, a Catholic Private College of Education at Dormaa-Akwamu in Dormaa-East District of Brong-Ahafo, affirmed Government’s commitment to fully improve the country’s human and natural resources for accelerated national development.

He said the Government had demonstrated this through the establishment of two public universities in Brong-Ahafo and Volta Regions, re-equipping polytechnics in all the 10 regions, constructing additional infrastructure to take care of students arising from the four-year Senior High School (SHS) programme introduced by the previous administration and targeting to rehabilitate all science resource centres nation-wide.

Mr Opoku announced that as at September, 2010, a total of 2,176,004 exercise books; 48,360 graph books and 60,146 school uniforms had been distributed to basic schools in the Brong-Ahafo Region in addition to a 50 per cent increase in the capitation grant nationwide.

He appealed to parents and community leaders to take advantage of the numerous interventions and enrol their children and wards, particularly girls, in schools.

The Deputy Regional Minister commended the Sunyani Catholic Diocese in general and the Diocesan Bishop, The Most Reverend Matthew Gyamfi in particular for his foresight and concern to increase the number of qualified teachers in the Region.

Mr Opoku noted the engagement of the youth in crimes including cyber fraud; use of narcotics; armed robbery and the high rate of female drop-outs from basic and second-cycle schools due to pregnancy and called for a multi-sectoral collaboration by schools, parents, churches and civil society to sensitize the youth on the dangers associated with such vices.

He paid glowing tribute to the Dormaa Traditional Council and Manos Unidas of Spain for their efforts and expressed the hope that the school would complement Government’s efforts to meet the required pupil-teacher ratio in the country.

Most Rev. Gyamfi said the Church’s decision to establish the College was informed on a recent research that revealed that the Region needed 45,000 trained teachers if it were to stop using the services of untrained teachers at the basic education level.

The Bishop thanked Manos Unidas of Spain for the financial assistance and the Chief of Dormaa-Akwamu, Barima Oppong Kyeremeh Sikafuor for donating the land for the establishment of the school.

Barima Oppong, who donated 20.2 hectares initially for the project announced the donation of additional eight hectares at the inaugural ceremony.

The Gyaasehene of the Dormaa Traditional Council, Barima Oppong Yaw Boabasa, who deputized for the Dormaahene said prospective investors would be given enough land for their projects and thanked the Catholic Church for bringing the first-ever College of Education to the traditional area.

The two Dormaa Assemblies – Dormaa Municipal and Dormaa-East District Assemblies – declared their intention to jointly construct a modern science resource centre for the College.

Highlights of the inaugural ceremony included the matriculation of 163 new students into the College by the Principal, The Rev. Father Alexander Agyepong.

Present at the function was the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference and Bishop of the Konongo Catholic Diocese, The Most Rev. Joseph Osei Bonsu.

Source: GNA

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