Prof. Kwesi Amankwah (D-G, GES)

A US-based Lawyer, Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare says it is time for GES to publish regulations and guidance that compel public schools to accommodate religious minorities.

He stressed that GES must ensure that the public schools do not favour (or disfavor) any religious beliefs urging the GES to protect the religious freedom of students in public schools.

“For instance, it is widely known that Muslims fast at certain times of the year. The GES should publish guidance on what all schools must do to facilitate this, including ensuring they have meals at the time that they need them, being excluded from physical activities if they need it, etc.

“The problem here is not that “rules are rules.” The problem here is that there are no rules at all and every headmaster feels empowered to decide what religious practices she’d tolerate in her school,” Prof. Kwaku Asare argued in a Facebook post.

Wesley Girls’ High School was directed by the Ghana Education Service to permit Muslim students who wish to fast to do so, but the Methodist Church countered the decision and insisted the school cannot bend its rules to allow Muslim students to fast.

The Christian Council of Ghana(CCG) and the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference(GCBC) subsequently backed this decision, saying it was in the best interest of the students.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Caucus in Parliament has slammed the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG), and the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC), for backing the decision to bar Muslim students in Wesley Girls’ High School from fasting.

A Press Statement issued by the caucus on Tuesday and signed by the Asawase lawmaker, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka urged the Ghana Education Service to enforce its earlier directive to allow “ any [Muslim] student who wishes to fast for any religious reasons to be able to do so…”.

 

Below is Kwakku Azar’s Post

Motown does not allow Rastafarians to keep their dreads; GEHE does not allow Muslims to fast; etc.

When you complain they say rules are rules. But where are the rules when each school is free to decide the religious practices it will allow?
We can no longer allow each public school to decide the religious practices that it will tolerate.

We cannot settle these religious skirmishes behind the doors in an ad hoc fashion.
It is time for public schools to understand and apply the separation of church and state doctrine.

It is time for the church, mosque, synagogue, shrine, temple, etc. to divorce themselves from the ownership, control, direction etc. of public schools.

It is time for public schools to ensure that students do not feel singled out or excluded because they have different religious beliefs or even none.

It is time for GES to protect the religious freedom of students in public schools.
It is time for the GES to ensure that our public schools do not favour (or disfavor) any religious beliefs.

Above all, it is time for GES to publish regulations and guidance that compel public schools to accommodate religious minorities.

For instance, it is widely known that Muslims fast at certain times of the year. The GES should publish guidance on what all schools must do to facilitate this, including ensuring they have meals at the time that they need them, being excluded from physical activities if they need it, etc.

The problem here is not that “rules are rules.” The problem here is that there are no rules at all and every headmaster feels empowered to decide what religious practices she’d tolerate in her school.

#SALL is the cardinal sin of the 8th Parliament. Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of SALL has no seat in Parliament.

Da Yie!

Source: Ghana/Kasapafmonline.com/102.5 Fm