Adnan A. Mohammed

Ghana Education Services (GES) is showing gross insensitivity and inconsistency to addressing the issue of freedom of worship in educational institutions, says the Coalition of Muslim Organizations, Ghana (COMOG) at its 4th National Delegates? Congress held at the Tamale.

Minister of education,Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang,
Minister of education,Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang,

The Congress in a communiquereleased noted with grave concern that, ?the insensitivity and inconsistency displayed by the Ghana Education Services (GES) in the process of trying to address issues of Freedom of worship and the rights of Muslims in educational institutions.?
The Congressexpressed that, a case in point is the rush with which the GES proceeded in 2008 to have a bill passed in Parliament to repeal the 1961 Education Act, which prohibited compelling students to worship in anyway and manner different from their own religion.
?It is regrettable that this occurred only a few months after a Muslim student in AdisadelCollegehad died in March 2008, as a result of resisting compulsion to attend church service.?
The Congressattended by delegates representing the major identifiable Muslim groupings from all the ten (10) regions of Ghanaexpressed their commitment to peace and unity, not only within the Muslim Community,but also between Muslims and adherents of other religions in the country.
They also observed that,?the generality of the Muslim Community are aware that for peace and unity to be effective and durable, they must be built and nurtured on the foundation of JUSTICE.??It is against this background that the Muslim Community would like the issues of religious tolerance and religious freedom in educational institutions and places of work to be addressed, in the context of the relevant constitutional provisions (i.e Article 21 (1)(c)).?
In this regard, Congress noted the position of the Muslim Community that it is only fair, just, and reasonable for their rights under the said constitutional provisions to be respected and regarded as inalienable and non-negotiable.
Also, in the communique signed by Dr. Adam Mahama, Steering Committee Chairman of the Congress released at the end of the Congress was of the view that the current cases of religious intolerance and discrimination against Muslims in schools and places of work,present an opportunity for the Muslim community to establish SHS to be attended by Muslim and non-Muslim students.
?To that end, COMOG shall launch a ?ONE SCHOOL PER YEAR? deliberate programme under which one SHS school shall be built every year for the next ten (10) years,? the communique noted.
In order to implement the programme ?ONE SCHOOL PER YEAR? therefore, Congress appealed to the authorities, as a matter of urgency, to consider returning Hajj to the Muslim Community.
Additionally, Muslims at the Congress discussed the economic challenges facing the country and recommended the adoption and launching of an ?OPERATION FEED GHANA? programme similar to the erstwhile ?Operation Feed Yourself? program under the Late General KutuAcheampong regime in the 1970s.
The communique also noted that frequent reports of alleged corruption do not serve the economic interests of the country.
Congress noted that,?beneath the economic challenges in the country lies the menace of corruption which culprits appear to perpetrate with impunity. It is the view of congress that all cases of alleged corruption should be thoroughly investigated, and alleged culprits prosecuted.?

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