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Ramadan, rasta saga: Unhealthy for schools to defy GES orders - AEW boss

Wesley Girls   WEY GEY HEY Wey Gey Hey's refusal to allow Muslims fast is at the heart of GES - Methodist Church disagreement

Thu, 6 May 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

In two successive high profile incidents, the Ghana Education Service, GES; has been publicly defied by key stakeholders, despite being, by law, the main regulator of the education ecosystem.

This development however is a cause for concern for which the GES must quickly assert its authority over such stakeholders according to Kofi Asare, Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, AEW.

In an interview concerning the Methodist Church's refusal to obey a GES directive to allow Muslim students to observe the ongoing Ramadan fast in one of its schools, Wesley Girls SHS; Asare said the rules of engagement between the regulator and schools needed to be reset.

“It’s time to standardize the rules that govern our schools. The agency that is responsible to ensure that every Ghanaian of school going (age) enroll in secondary schools is GES.

"So if you arrogate such powers to senior high schools to determine how they should be governed to the extent that they have the right to reject the advice of you the supervising agency, then it means you have set up a governance system which is incongruent with yours,” he cautioned.

He stressed that schools by themselves needed to relook at operational regulations however old they are arguing the need to do so in the light of modernity, diversity, and inclusion.

The Methodist Church under which Wesley Girls falls issued a press release on May 4 rejecting a GES order that against any reservations, the school should allow Muslims in their care to fast.

“The Ghana Education Service, therefore, directs authorities of 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 May 3 statement by the GES PRO said.

But in response, the Church's reply read in part: “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 Methodist Church cannot accede to the unilateral directive issued by the Ghana Education Service and insists that the Ghana Education Service respects the long-standing partnership between Government and Mission Schools,” it concluded.

It becomes the second such defiance of GES orders as last month a similar directive in respect of the Achimota School Rastafarian students saga also elicited a rejection by the school administration, a move that was backed by the school board and its Parents - Teacher Association, PTA.

Analysts and experts in the education ecosystem have stressed that such posturing on the part of schools and other stakeholders does not bode well for the regulator's authority, hence the need to engage more and liaise with stakeholders to avoid such public defiance.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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