Accra, July 5, GNA – Sir Knight Dr Lawrence Honny, Consultor to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace at the Vatican, has challenged state institutions to limit their control over schools in setting out and monitoring broad policies.
This, he said would give school managements the space required to come out with innovations.
Speaking as a Guest Speaker during the unveiling of the Vision and Mission Statements of St Augustine’s College in Cape Coast, he observed that Catholic education, was rooted in faith and teaches that God exists in everything good.
He said it was about ethics, universal human values, justice and respect for the rights of others, truth, honesty, protection of human life and dignity, the freedom to decide for oneself, to stand up for what was moral, and keeping a good conscience.
He described the school as “an outstanding Catholic College offering the highest quality of education in preparing the perfect citizen for the future”.
“We provide excellent Catholic education that equips students for leadership in every aspect of life and is delivered by firmly committed tutors in a superb learning environment,” he said.
He expressed the hope that students of St Augustine’s College would imbibe sound moral tenets and values anchored on the Catholic faith, ‘which are critical to responsible citizenship’.
Dr Honny observed that it would be necessary to constantly seek answers to questions such as, “Are students learning the right materials to perform exceptionally?”, “Are they examined and graded regularly and effectively?” and “How do they compare with the top?”
He challenged the academic staff of the need to develop a very firm commitment to the cause putting the interests of students and the College first.
“Tutors will thus teach the full content of syllabuses within the allotted time, with true personal dedication, without expecting additional remuneration for extra efforts”, he added.
Dr Honny urged the College’s management to consider the provision of ‘a superb learning environment’, including ‘ a very tidy compound, well-furnished and maintained classrooms; properly equipped laboratories and well-stocked libraries; dormitories, dining facilities and conveniences that are clean and not overcrowded; students who are healthy, well fed, properly supervised, motivated, happy and productive’.
‘It also meant the celebration of achievements and high standards and proper harnessing of human, financial and material resources and acute leadership skills.’
The Headmaster of the College was challenged to “innovate and modernise, continually reset the bar of performance, and hold himself accountable for the results, whether good or bad”.
Dr Honny said by internalising its vision and depending on a certain inordinate ambition to renew itself, St Augustine’s College would not provide its young boys with knowledge without character, teach them science without humanity, or send them out into the world without principles and with no conscience, but one that nurtured a perfect Christian and therefore, a perfect citizen.
Mr Joseph Connel the Headmaster, explained that the Vision and Mission statements were not entirely new but had actually been conceived by the founding fathers.
He expressed gratitude to the previous Board of Governors led by Reverend Monsignor James Myers and the current one being chaired by Rev Fr John Hamilton as well as Dr Honny and Rev Fr G.P. Appiah for helping to fine tune the two statements.
The Chairman for the ceremony and APSU President, Dr Ernest Anthony Osei admonished the students to take advantage of the unveiling ceremony to fully appreciate the statements to enable them obtain the full benefits of the kind of education the College had for them.
He said it was only then that they would be able to leave the College having been fully prepared to undertake various careers that would enable them impact positively on the society and country.
Present at the ceremony were the Metropolitan Archbishop of Cape Coast and Patron of the College, Most Rev Matthias Kobina Nketsiah, Chairman of the College’s Board of Governors, Rev John Manso Hamilton, Headmasters of Mfantsipim School, Adisadel College, Headmistress of Holy Child School, Nyankumasi Ahenkro SHS, Academy of Christ the King SHS and Oguaa Sec. Tech, previous and current members of the College’s Board of Governors, and a good number of the past students (APSUnians).
After the unveiling ceremony, the APSUnians used the opportunity to undertake a two-hour mentorship session for the students, as part of the Annual Gents (SRC) Week activities.