GES overrides Wesley Girls fasting directive
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Accra – The Ghana Education Service (GES) has directed all Senior High Schools (SHS) to allow students to fast on religious grounds provided parents or guardians had agreed to be liable for the health implications of such a decision.

The directive was based on the outcome of a meeting between the Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, and Board members of Wesley Girls High School which is being chaired by the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, Most Rev. Dr. Paul Kwabena Boafo.

Discussions were centred on the school’s decision to disallow Muslim students from partaking in the annual Ramadan fast which could last for 30 or 29 days of an Islamic month.

As a means of resolving the issue, the Minister tasked the GES to put in place measures to address the matter which hinged on respecting the rights of students while taking into consideration concerns raised by schools on the health risks associated with fasting.

In a statement released on May 1, 2021, the GES urged all stakeholders to take note of the directive adding that, “the parents of any such students are 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 fast.”

GES maintained that the position of Wesley Girls SHS to disallow fasting was on health grounds and not to sideline the belief of any religious grouping in the country.

“The School Authorities made It clear that it had no intention whatsoever, of interfering with the religious practices of any group of students but had prioritised the health of young girls placed in their care.

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“The net effect of fasting was that students developed various health conditions. The School, therefore, took the decision, that irrespective of one’s religious background, fasting was not permitted” GES further explained. 

Prior to the meeting between the minister and the School Board, a Muslim delegation made up of members from the Muslim Caucus of Parliament and other religious organisations had met on Wednesday, April 28 with the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, Most Rev. Dr. Boafo to forward their grievances over the school’s decision.

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