By Cecil Mensah
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), has directed that all religious activities in schools, under the Accra Metro Department of Education be halted by July, this year.
According to the Assembly, the activities of churches in schools, have over the years served as a disincentive to the provision of infrastructure and proper management of educational facilities.
At a sod-cutting ceremony for the construction of another Millennium School at the St. Joseph Anglican cluster of schools at Bubuashie in the Okaikoi South Constituency, Dr Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, said that religious activities in classrooms, would not be countenanced by the end of July, this year.
He pleaded with the religious leaders, to humbly look for alternative structures for their activities by the close of the deadline.
He explained that the ban on religious activities in the various classrooms under the sub-metros office of education, was not an act to persecute religious leaders in the metropolis.
He emphasized that the Assembly, was reliably informed that the activities of churches in the schools, are destroying the few furniture in the various schools.
He maintained that by the September academic year, all classroom church activities, would be stopped to maintain the classrooms for smooth academic work.
He explained that over the years, church activities in the schools, have made it difficult for the education directorates to maintain educational materials in the schools.
He said, hitherto, education materials such as drawings and other learning aids, were pasted on the walls of the classrooms for learning.
“These materials used to be hanged in the classrooms to create the ambience for learning, but all these have been lost to the activities of churches in the classrooms,” he said
He noted that the Assembly was in a better position to cut sod for the construction of twelve new Millennium schools as the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, has given the go ahead for the construction of the schools.
He continued that the Assembly, has won the Functional Organization Assessment Tool(FOAT) for three times, due to the prudent management of its internally Generated Funds (IGF).
He added that good measure has been put in place by the Assembly in terms of generating the needed funds for the construction of the Millennium school that consist of a kindergarten, modern classroom facilities, computer laboratory, science laboratory and modern toilet facilities.
He said through the FOAT initiative, an amount of thirty million Ghana Cedis, has been set aside for the construction of more of the millennium schools in the Accra metropolis.
He stressed that aside this, the Assembly was sourcing other donor funds, to help improve and provide quality education for all pupils in the metropolis.
He further stated that he would soon cut sod for the construction of more millennium schools as results of collaboration between the Government and religious bodies to improve education in the country.
He stated that the quality of governance and development of the country depends on the development of the educational sector, hence the Assembly’s target to build more schools.
On his part, Major Ebenezer N.A Laryea, the Parish Priest of the St. Joseph Anglican Church, joined by Madam Angelina Tina Mensah, the Metro Director of Education, thanked the Mayor for the gesture done the school and promised to take good care of the facility when it is completed by January, next year.