Methodist Church Ghana Rejects GES Directive

Most Rev. Dr Paul Kwabena Boafo

The Methodist Church Ghana, has expressed its disapproval over the Ghana Education Service (GES) instruction to Wesley Girls High School to allow Muslim students fast during Ramadan on campus.

The Church in a statement signed by the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church Ghana, Most Rev. Dr Paul Kwabena Boafo, took, “strong exception” to the directive stating that it “cannot accede to the unilateral directive issued by the Ghana Education Service.”

It argued that the school’s rule in question “is a long-standing one which is also non-religious and various renowned Muslim ladies in Ghana have passed through.”

The church therefore insisted that the Ghana Education Service “respects the long-standing partnership between Government and Mission Schools.”

The GES earlier this week directed the authorities of the Wesley Girls High School and other schools to allow any Muslim student to fast for any religious reason.

The parents of any such student, it said, were also directed to write to the school indicating that the school shall not be held liable for any health condition of the student as a result of the fasting.

“The net effect 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,” Head Public Relations of the GES, Ms Cassandra Twum Ampofo, said in a directive.

But the Church said it was, imperative that to ensure the health of students was not compromised vis-a-vis their organised school schedules, “this long-standing practice had to be maintained”.

That, it said, was the basis for the refusal by the school authorities of the girl’s request to fast during Ramadan.

“Having been apprised of the facts of this case, the Minister of Education met the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Ghana, Most Rev. Dr Paul Kwabena Boafo, and some board members of Wesley Girls High School. The school authorities made it clear that it had no intention whatsoever of interfering with the religious practices of any group of students and concerns of schools on the health risks associated with the fasting,” it said.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri