Churches urged to pay attention to early childhood education

By Ken Sackey, GNA

Accra, Aug. 24, GNA – President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Thursday
made a heartfelt plea to the Presbyterian Church to take a leading role in the
early childhood education sector to build the attitudes and characters needed
for a successful Ghana.

He said schools established by churches had a proven record of moulding
the mind-set and moral fiber of many Ghanaians, and  that those traditions of discipline and hard
work that characterised the Presbyterian schools of old were  needed in Ghana now.

President Akufo-Addo made the appeal when he addressed the Eighth
General Assembly of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church at the Trinity
Theological Seminary in Legon, on the theme: “Breaking New Grounds”.

He said with religious groups concentrating on the tertiary level of
education, it was important that they got back to the early childhood education
level, where their expertise was sorely needed.

“The Evangelical Presbyterian Church, like its counterpart the
Presbyterian Church of Ghana, used to be very active in this sector. There is
an obvious and great need in this sector, and we seem to be failing our young
people. There can be no denying the fact that the most critical stages of
education for any child are the early years,” the President said.

“I am aware that the growth of the Church is, quite properly, a big
consideration in the decisions that you take. The theme of this General
Assembly is ‘Breaking New Grounds,’ and I offer you the famous saying of St
Francis Xavier: ‘give me a child until he is seven, and I will show you the
man’. In other words, catch them young, catch them at pre-school and at
kindergarten, and you will have them for life,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo said the ‘solid churches’ must step up and take the
children until they are seven, “and mould the men and women that would build a
successful Ghana.”

He noted that Presbyterian schools were distinguished by the behaviour
of their students, and by the orderly nature of the campuses, saying, “They
stood out, and we all took pride in them.”

The President, thus, urged the Evangelical Presbyterian Church to avail
itself of the opportunity to play a leading role in the early childhood
education sector, because the values of the Church were “desperately required
in this critical sector.”

He tasked the Church to imbue in the youth the sense of discipline and
communal responsibility as was done in times past.

“I ask you to capture the spirit you were known for, and let us build
the self-confidence and prosperous Ghana we all desire,” he added.


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