General News of Friday, 27 February 2015
The Ghana Education Service has served notice to all students in missionary secondary schools to attend morning devotion sessions if it is a school rule.
“We are trying to encourage our students notwithstanding their faith to come together to worship and it brings about national unity. If a Muslim takes part in morning worship, it doesn’t mean the person is being forced to convert to Christianity,” the Public Relations officer of the Ghana Education Service, Charles Parker Allotey explained.
According to the Service, failure to attend compulsory morning devotion sessions may lead to indiscipline among students.
The reaction of the GES follows a directive by the President to all heads of public institutions, including schools, to desist from forcing Muslim students to compulsorily join Christian fellowships.
The Muslim Community in the Western Region last Friday demonstrated to protest their displeasure over the compulsory church service policy in some Senior High Schools in the country.
The demonstration was to force government to compel schools to allow female Muslim students to put on veils.
They also don’t want to attend church services in schools that make such gatherings compulsory.
Speaking to Citi News, the Public Relations officer of the Ghana Education Service, Charles Parker Allotey, said the inclusion of every student in morning devotion does not constitute a violation of the religious rights of students.
“As far as the management of the GES is concerned, there are rules and regulations and students are expected to abide by these rules and regulations. If by the rules of the school morning devotion is compulsory for everybody, we expect that everybody should take part in it. Otherwise, there will be truancy in our schools. Some students will take advantage of these things and say I belong to this faith or the other and they will stay in the dormitory. So it is very difficult to ascertain whether whatever they are saying is true or not,” he stated.
Charles Parker Allotey stated that students are always made aware of the rules in the schools they choose before they make their choices; adding, “so they know that they are entering a mission school.”
According to Charles Parker Allotey, the morning devotion sessions fostered national unity.