. . . Commissions Convent at HGSS, Confirms 205 Students
By Precious Ukeje and Chioma Ndife
Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, has urged parents to continue supporting their children in education, noting that a well-trained child is a blessing, while an untrained child can become burdensome to parents and making such parents not better than people who have committed their entire life to celibacy.
Bishop Ezeokafor made the statement while delivering a homily at the Handmaid Girls’ Secondary School, Amansea, when he was on pastoral visit, Sunday, January 26.
The bishop also commissioned the new Convent in the school meant for Reverend Sisters and as well, confirmed not less than 205 students as full members of Catholic Church.
Speaking on the importance of Catholic education, he said it took care of the total man, the body and soul, in order to bring about a whole human. He however decried the fact that a lot of parents made the mistake of wanting just good secular education for their children where they were rushed through school at the detriment of their spiritual formation.
Bishop Ezeokafor thanked God and the sisters for making available the facility at Amansea and noted that it was a product of Mission cooperation. He said the taking over of schools by the government after the war brought the school system to zero level.
He added that such discouraged and made some people hesitant to open other schools for fear of their being taken over by the government.
The Awka Catholic Diocese’s helmsman said that what encouraged one to continue to labour was the enjoyment of the fruit of one’s labour. He disclosed initial fears by the Church about the possibility of the new school being taken over by government, but said such fear was no more entertained.
The cleric, while charging parents to take their children’s education seriously, noted that it was better to have two educated persons together where the only problem would be who outwitted the other, rather than stay with one who was uneducated and who could make life miserable for the educated person.
He therefore urged them to care about their children’s spiritual formation, and noted that all knowledge without human relationship and the things of God would turn an individual to a beast.
He also told parents that their children were their best assets and urged them to train them well.
On the side of the teachers, he enjoined them to take care of the students, stressing that it was their primary responsibility. He thanked God that the school had a great chunk of religious men and women.
Regretting that what endangered education in Catholic schools was the distance between trainers and students in terms of residence, he expressed happiness that more teachers living with the students would help guide them well.
He further urged the teachers not to compare the salaries paid to them with those of the federal government, noting that their salaries were paid from what was collected as fees from the parents of the children.
The bishop said thatthe parents were sometimes people who were not too rich but who still wanted quality education for their children.
‘Teaching is a vocation, not a profession. Education is something you do out of the love you have for it; the joy of training someone. Be responsible to the children and teach them aright.
‘Whatever the children learn here becomes reference points for them, even when they get to the university,’Ezeokafor said.
He charged the children to be disciplined and charged them to first seek genuine certificates which they could defend.
He discouraged parents from taking their children to special centres, asking them to allow their children to pass through every necessary stress that would help them to achieve certificates that they could defend.
Bishop Ezeokafor advised the students to prepare for their studies; avoid idleness, waste of time and be conscious of the company they kept to avoid trouble.
He urged them to make friends that would help give them all-round development.
The bishop led some of the congregants to the Convent where he prayed, dedicated and commissioned the building, as well as the chapel.