The Muslim Caucus in Ghana’s Parliament wants rules to be enforced to address religious discrimination against students in the various Senior High Schools.
A member of the caucus, Muntaka Mubarak during an interview on Accra based Citi FM and monitored by myactiveonline.com said the enforcement of such laws by the Ghana Education Service (GES) will allow students to practice their religion without being discriminated against.
“We are worried about the sheer disregard to the concerns of others. We are worried about all the efforts we have made and the assurance by the Presiding Bishop. We are shocked. The statement they have issued has really sent a shock to us, and we believe that GES has to enforce the rules because failure to enforce the rules means everybody will have to do his own thing and I do not think that will augur well for our co-existence and unity as a country.”
Wesley Girls High School has been criticized for preventing a Muslim student from fasting during the ongoing Ramadan.
The Methodist Church Ghana has also supported the school’s stance, saying it “cannot accede to the unilateral directive issued by the Ghana Education Service.”
But the Member of Parliament for Asawase said such developments might lead to the introduction of sharia law in Islamic schools if the GES fails to act.
“If GES fails [to enforce laws], they will be setting another bad precedent. I can bet you most of the Islamic schools will begin to have sharia as their rules. I think that GES must stand its grounds and enforce its rules.”
The Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of Wesley Girls’ High School in Cape Coast has also justified the school’s decision.
In a statement, the PTA indicated that the parents of the students accepted the school’s rules before enrolling their wards and, as such, the institution cannot be coerced into compromising its long-standing regulations on the basis of the students’ religious preferences.
“The school should not be forced to compromise its rules and regulations to accommodate students’ individual preferences which border on religion. This is unsustainable.”
It added that “the school’s undertaking was clear, among other things about the fact that the School is a Methodist School and that students will have to abide by the school’s rules and policies. Importantly, the school’s no fasting rule is non-discriminatory, affecting the students of all faiths in the school.”