Methodist Church Defies GES Fasting Directive
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Accra – The Methodist Church of Ghana has taken “strong exception” to the directive of the Ghana Education Service (GES), which allows Muslim students to fast during Ramadhan.

According to the church, the directive put in place by the Wesley Girls Senior High School was a long-standing rule that has been adhered to by renowned Muslim ladies in Ghana who attended the school.

“The Methodist Church, Ghana, cannot accede to the unilateral directive issued by the GES and insists that the GES respect the long-standing partnership between the government and mission schools,” said the church in a statement released on Tuesday.

The statement was issued after an emergency meeting among the hierarchy of the church, which was chaired by the Presiding Bishop, the Most Reverend Dr. Paul Kwabena Boafo.

The church also noted that such policies of the school over the 186 years of its existence have resulted in Wesley Girls High School “being the school of choice, excellence, and achievement, and the church remains in full support of these policies”.

It would be recalled that the GES issued a directive on May 1, 2021, to all senior high school (SHS) authorities in the country to allow students to fast on religious grounds, provided parents or guardians assume full responsibility for the health implications of fasting.

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

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Discussions focused 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 that hinged on respecting the rights of students while taking into consideration concerns raised by schools on the health risks associated with fasting.

“The net effect of fasting was that students developed various health conditions. The school, therefore, took the decision that, regardless 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 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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