By Emmanuel Akayeti
The Catholic Education Unit (CEU) of the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese, which has 363 schools under its jurisdiction, has organized the grand finals of the Catholic Schools Girls Quiz Competition for the Upper East and North East Regions, from the Dinary to the Diocesan level in Bolgatanga, Capital of the Upper East Region.
The quiz competition started two years ago and was sponsored by Miean Cara of Ireland through the Presentation Brothers.
The sponsorship brought about the revival of girls’ clubs in some Catholic Schools to correct some misconceptions held by some parents regarding girl-child education which contributed to the high dropout rate of girls in school.
The Regional Manager of the Catholic Education Unit of the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Dioceses Sister Bernadine Pemi of the Daughters of Charity (DC) said the whole project is aimed at restoring hope to hopeless to increase the enrolment and retention of especially, the girl-child in school.
She indicated that, upon assumption into office as the Regional Manager, she realized that more of the girls were at the primary level but as they progress into the JHS the girls’ numbers drop in every school or community she visited.
Sister Pemi said upon investigation it became clear that parents and guardians in those communities were not interested in their girls’ education as they see women as part of a man’s property and marry them off at a tender age.
She stated that, unfortunately, most of those dropped-out girls and those that were not attending school at all were gifted, intelligent, and very clever yet denied the opportunity to express themselves so their dreams were cut short.
As the way forward, she added that she sort to find out how these unfortunate girls could be helped to realize their dreams by enrolling and retaining them in school, in the midst of the many schools, and that brought about the revival of the school’s girl clubs and the subsequent financial support from Misean Cara of Ireland.
The Vicar General of the Navrongo -Bolgatanga Diocese Very Reverent Father Lawrence Azure encourages the girls to study hard and humble themselves in obedience to God, parents, and guardians in order to attain greater heights. The Vicar General expressed joy at the performance of the girls saying they were full of potential that could contribute to the development of Mother Ghana tomorrow.
In all, six Junior High Schools (JHS) took part in the competition; St Martins JHS took the first position and went home with the trophy, Chuok JHS second, Aben-Pungo JHS third, Holy Trinity JHS fourth, Sacrat Heart JHS fifth and Abartey JHS sixth. They all went away with some consolation prizes in the form of teaching aids to the various schools.