Churches urged to pay attention to early childhood education

Accra, 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.

Source: Ghana News Agency