President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called for resolution to the religious impasse that has frustrated the educational system in the past few days, saying schools must not be turned into “places to fight ideological and religious battles.”
At the Eidul-Fitr celebration on May 13, 2021 held at the forecourt of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) at Kanda in Accra, the Present said: “The boarding schools in our country have traditionally served as a training grounds in learning about each others, about tolerance, about losing the fear of the unknown.
“That is where young Ghanains learn to eat each others food, that is where they learn the songs and dances of the different parts of the country. That is where they learn about each others religions and that is where life long friendships are forged.”
He continued: “These schools must necessarily have rules and regulations that enable them to function. – – – Throughout the years, by and large, the schools have managed to find a balanced atmosphere to enable our young people to flourish and this has served us well.
“The schools have adopted their practices to suit the times and I will urge that we do not turn them into the places to fight ideological and religious battles. Our young people deserve a peaceful atmosphere to deal with the many challenges of studying and acquiring knowledge.”
The comment was in response to the discourse that arose over the Ramadan period, when the headmistress of Wesley Girls High School restrained Muslim students from observing her religious right which is fasting, on account that the academic work and other school related activities are demanding and would interfere with the health of the students should they observe the fast.
The issue caught the attention of the public who described the action of the school authorities as religiously intolerant.
The Ghana Education service then issued a directive to the authorities to allow students who wish to fast do so, but on condition that they [students and their families] will take responsibility of whatever consequences they may face health wise as a result of the fast.
The founder of the school, that is, the Methodist Church Ghana, nonetheless defied the order by backing the school in its refusal to permit the students observe the fast while other Christian bodies supported their stance.