By Prosper K. Kuorsoh, GNA
Wa, Oct. 5, GNA - Most Reverend Richard Kuuia Baawobr, Bishop of the Wa Catholic Diocese has stated that for greater equity, students in private, non-Government Senior High Schools (SHSs) should also be allowed to benefit from the Free SHS policy.
The Bishop who was speaking during President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo’s meeting with Religious Leaders in Wa justified that this was necessary since all these institutions were forming citizens for Ghana and not for themselves.
He welcomed the Free SHS policy, but noted however that for it to be effective some of the schools needed serious upgrading in terms of physical infrastructure and resources like text books and furniture among others.
Most Rev. Baawobr also pointed out that the absence of a Regional Cultural Centre was a handicap for the advancement of the traditional culture and its systematic handing on to the future generations through formal education.
“The poor performance of most of our basic schools is due to the absence of didactic material”, he said and emphasized that such weak academic foundations will definitely have consequences for the nation.
The Bishop commended the President for showing high commitment in the fight against illegal mining (galamsay) and advised that even in granting permissions to mining companies, the conditions should be clearly stipulated because of the potential harm the practice could cause to the environment and the people.
Most Rev. Baawobr lamented the indiscriminate felling of trees in the region because of their commercial value, noting that the practice if left unchecked the savannah would become a desert in the near future.
President Nana Akuo-Addo thanked the religious leaders for their prayers for the country, saying it was because of their prayers that the peace of the country was preserved before, during and after the 2016 elections.
“It is your prayers that brought victory to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and me” he added.
The President said he committed himself to the ‘galamsay’ fight because he realised the manner at which the practice was going on, they would one day wake up to see their environment and water bodies completely dissipated.
He noted that exploitation of mineral resources happened in the past but it did not affect the water bodies like the way it was happening now, questioning why it should be allowed to happen in their time.
President Akufo-Addo appealed to the religious leaders to support the implementation of the Free SHS policy in order for it to succeed to benefit all Ghanaian children.
He mentioned high rate of unemployment as one of the biggest problem of public policy in the country, but assured that his government was working very hard to address the challenge despite inheriting an empty national purse.
He stressed on the need to block all sources of revenue leakage to aid strong mobilisation of the revenue needed to cause the radical transformation so desired.
President Akufo-Addo said the collective desire to move Ghana forward was needed at this moment and appealed to all Ghanaians to nurture such desire for the betterment of the country.
“Ghana is not poor, what we lack is leadership and we are going to provide that leadership for the country to succeed”, he assured.