The Vice President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Most Rev. Emmanuel Kofi Fianu, has sounded a clarion call regarding the erosion of the state-church partnership in education, highlighting the imminent threat it poses to holistic Catholic education.
Speaking at the 70th Anniversary Celebration of OLA Senior High School in Ho on Saturday, January 3, 2024, Bishop Fianu expressed deep concern over the diminishing collaboration between the Church and the State in promoting comprehensive Catholic education.
“We have observed that what was perceived to be a state-church partnership in education seems to be eroding,” remarked Bishop Fianu. “As it stands currently, there is no clear partnership agreement between the Church and the State that promotes holistic Catholic Education.”
Bishop Fianu emphasized the grave managerial challenges arising from this situation, particularly in mission schools. He pointed out that the erosion of the rights of educational units, particularly Catholic educational units, to manage and supervise institutions established in partnership with the government has reduced to mere lip service.
This trend, he noted, has led to a scenario where schools initiated by the Church, especially in disadvantaged areas, struggle to provide holistic Catholic education.
The Bishop further underscored the need for the state to allocate a portion of taxes paid by parents for the tuition of students entitled to state funding. However, he lamented that such funds often result in the state assuming control of schools established by the Church, making it practically impossible to ensure holistic Catholic education.
“I believe that the time has come for like-minded individuals, those who benefited from holistic Catholic Education, those who desire Catholic education for their children, and all who believe in holistic Catholic education, to raise their voices and make themselves heard. The voice of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference alone is no longer enough,” Bishop Fianu averred.