The Methodist Church Ghana has expressed reservations against the Ghana Education Service’ directive to Wesley Girls’ High School to allow Muslim students to observe the Ramadan fast.
The church, in a statement issued on 4 May 2021, after an emergency meeting, indicated that it takes “strong exception” to the GES order.
“The school rule in question is a long-standing one which is also non-religious and various renowned Muslim ladies in Ghana have passed through the school adhering to such a rule,” the statement further noted
The Methodist Church, therefore, stated that it “cannot accede to the unilateral directive issued by the Ghana Education Service”, thereby insisting that the GES “respect the long-standing partnership between the government and mission schools”.
The Ghana Education Service (GES) on 1 May 2021, issued a directive to the authorities of Wesley Girls’ Senior High School in the Central Region and other senior high schools across the country, to allow Muslim students to partake in the 30-day Ramadan fast if they choose to do so.
“The Ghana Education Service, therefore, directs Wesley Girls’ High School as well as any other school, to allow any such student who wishes to fast for any religious reason to do so”, a press statement signed by the head of the Public Relations Unit of GES, Cassandra Twum Ampofo, said.
The statement came after Wesley Girls’ High School prevented a Muslim student from fasting during the ongoing Ramadan period.
The GES, however, explained that the school took the decision based on health grounds.
“The net effect [of fasting] was that students developed various health conditions.
“The school, therefore, took the decision, then, that irrespective of one’s religious background, fasting was not permitted”, the statement said.
“It was, therefore, imperative that to ensure that the health of students was not compromised vis-à-vis their organised school schedules, this long-standing practice had to be maintained”, the Service explained.
It noted: “This was the basis for the refusal by the school authorities of the girl’s request to fast during Ramadan.”
The statement further noted that the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, after a meeting with the board of Wesley Girls’ SHS, advised the GES to put measures in place to address the concern of such students.