"Presbyterian Church of Ghana Western Presbytery's Education Consultation Focuses on Academic Excellence and Moral Values"
By: Ekua Stephens - Kyzzfmonline
September 15, 2023

On September 14, 2023, the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Western Presbytery Department of Education, hosted an Education consultation with the theme "Promoting Academic Excellence and Moral Uprightness in Presbyterian Schools."

This event was held at The Trinity Congregation Church in Tarkwa and was presided over by Rev. Dr. Joseph Apea Asamoah, the Western Presbytery Chairperson.

According to Rev. Martinson, who serves as the Director of the Presbytery for the Department of Education and is responsible for supervising all Presbyterian schools in the Western/North Region, the event was organized by Rev. Dr. Apea Asamoah and the Department of Education of the Presbytery.

This consultation has been an annual tradition of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana since 2019 and has now been adopted by all Presbyteries.

The funding for this event comes from the Presbytery, under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Apea Asamoah. Rt. Rev. Prof. Obiri Yeboah Mante, the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, has encouraged all Presbyteries to conduct this education consultation each year.

The event commenced promptly at 10:21 a.m. with a prayer followed by a hymn performed by the impressive Presbyterian Tarkwa Primary School choir. Rev. Sandra Glover, the Master of Ceremony, acknowledged the presence of various dignitaries, predominantly reverend ministers.

The event's chairperson, Rev. Dr. Joseph Apea Asamoah, was introduced and began by expressing the Presbyterian Church's commitment to its schools. Over the past five years, they have organized this Education consultation to focus on academic excellence.

He hoped that by the end of the program, teachers would learn from the church, and vice versa.

At 10:45 a.m., the Presbyterian Primary School choir treated attendees to another captivating performance. Rev. Stephen Martinson then delivered his address, emphasizing the importance of teachers establishing a strong connection between the directorate and the church.

The Presby choir performed another hymn to welcome the keynote speaker, Mr. Edmund Aggrey-Forson, the Municipal Director of Education in Tarkwa. Mr. Aggrey-Forson raised questions about the alignment of Presby schools with the church and whether the church mentions the schools' names during services to reinforce their connection.

He stressed the need for re-branding in schools to align with the church's values and encouraged ministers to visit schools during worship days to instill the word of God in students.

This, he believed, would help students understand that they are not merely wearing uniforms but are integral members of the Presbyterian community.

He further encouraged teachers to support these efforts to improve students' moral standards and emphasized that parents should not rely solely on the government to meet the schools' needs.

His address concluded at 11:23 a.m.

At 11:30 a.m., the program transitioned to an interactive session, with heads of schools from Bogoso, Tarkwa, Enche, Wasa Akropong, Aboso, and Asankraguaa in attendance. They shared some of their challenges:

  1. Discipline Issues: School heads discussed the difficulty of maintaining discipline and shared that they often had to keep quiet about certain issues to retain students.
  2. Late Arrivals: Many students arrived late because they did not live with their parents. They cited excuses such as being required to serve those they lived with at the market before coming to school. Some parents even insisted that their children go to the farm with them during school hours.
  3. Academic Performance: Concerns were raised about the low performance of students in the 2023 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), with the best grade in some schools being aggregate 15. They aspired to improve this to aggregate 12 in 2023.

The Municipal Director of Education issued a challenge to the Junior High School (JHS) students present at the event to excel academically. Another concern raised was that a significant percentage of JHS students lacked proficient reading skills.

At 12:39 p.m., the chairperson delivered the closing remarks. He encouraged churches to provide support to their schools and addressed some of the concerns raised by the heads and teachers.

Additionally, two teachers were recognized and awarded for their punctuality and early arrival at school. They were presented with Presbyterian badges as a reward for their dedication.