Cape Coast, Oct. 13, GNA - The Founder of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr. Papa Kwesi Ndoum, has re-echoed the call for government to return mission schools to their various founding churches
He alluded that in this day where common etiquette, hard work, selflessness and incorrigible behaviours were hard to find in the country, not less value based education with spiritual grounding was needed.
Dr. Ndoum, the 2008 presidential candidate for the PPP, made the call at a ceremony at the weekend, to commission a three-storey dormitory, including a basement, constructed at the cost of GH¢500,000.00 for his alma mater, St. Augustine’s College in Cape Coast.
The ultra-modern facility named “Dr. Paa Kwesi –Mrs Yvonne Nduom”, funded by Groupe Ndoum (GN) Companies is fully furnished with twin bunk beds and mattresses, and has the capacity to accommodate 120 students.
Constructed by Yorke Properties, one of the subsidiaries of the Groupe Ndoum Companies within 12 months, the facility comes with a furnished detached three two bedroom teachers’ flat, with a study room, a library and a visitors’ room.
The gesture which was in fulfilment of a promise made to the school by Dr Ndoum at its 82nd Speech and Prize-Giving Day two years ago, has therefore been named after him and his wife Mrs. Yvonne Ndoum.
Dr. Ndoum, who is a member of the 1971 year group of the College, expressed confidence in the catholic education and other missions, and their ability to promote discipline, spiritual foundation and Christian principles to students.
“It is the catholic mission along with others who have worked hard so that many got good education”, he stated
Touching on Free Compulsory Basic Education, he stated that the drafters of Ghana’s Constitution were right when they made it a requirement for government to make it possible in the country within a 10-year period.
He expressed worry that education was now not a right as it should be, coupled with the fact that in 2014 alone many students failed their examinations, because the quality of education was poor.
“In an increasingly challenging and competitive world, basic education is indeed even……. If nothing at all, what is in the Constitution should not be something we do when we feel like it...It is a requirement, and all of us must work and advocate for free education..”
Dr. Ndoum stated that, left to him alone, every child in Ghana would have free education from primary to the senior high, for that level to become the minimum work qualification in the country.
He recalled how in 1966, when his father, an educationalist and a founding member of the College became jobless, as result of a coup, just as he had entered the College, adding that it was through the efforts of others that he was able to complete school.
“So when many of us talk about free compulsory education, it is not for nothing”, he said.
Dr. Ndoum who was accompanied by his wife, family members and Staff of GN Companies, expressed gratitude to the school for giving him a great start in life through discipline, spiritual guidance and academic excellence, and paid a glowing tribute to his teachers and founding fathers of the school.
The Headmaster, Mr. Joseph Connel, expressed gratitude to the Ndoum family for the gesture, since it would enhance teaching and learning, and gave the assurance that the College would justify the investment by promoting high moral discipline and academic standards.
He indicated that in spite of the benevolence from its stakeholders, the College would still rely on them for support since its location by the sea was having a serious toll on some of its staff bungalows and other facilities, requiring daily maintenance.
He appealed for a new school bus to replace the current one, which was unable to transport students to events outside the school, and also to complete some on-going projects.
Mr. Connel expressed gratitude to the Government, past students, the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), the Catholic Church and all stakeholders for their continuous support.
Most Rev. Matthias Kobena Nketsiah, the College Patron, praised Dr. Ndoum and other old students for their support to the school, and gave the assurance that the students would continue to make them proud with excellent academic performance in the West African Senior Secondary Examinations.
Dr. Tony Ernest Osei, the National President of the Augustine’s Past Students Association (APSU), urged past students to support the school with its Chapel project and a new bus, and advised current students to take advantage of the facility to strive hard to excel academically, to deserve a space in the school’s hall of fame.