A former Chief Director of the Ministry of Health who is also a former President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Lepowura Aljahi M.N.D Jawuma and four others have petitioned the National Peace Council over what they call the violation of Muslim students at the Wesley Girls Senior high school during the fast.
The petition dated 27th September 2021, stated that Muslim students at Wesley Girls are not merely subjected to gross discrimination at all levels at the school, but they also suffer bullying /targeting by other students/prefects, house mistresses, chaplain and teachers.
They are also compelled to attend mandatory Christian church services , a faith they do not subscribe to, according to the petition.
“We wish to petition your council on pertinent matters pending before you on the above subject. A Muslim father, Mr. Ismail Zakarra Alhassan got a complaint from his daughter at Wesley Girls’ High
School to the effect that the school does not allow her to fast. As a result, on 26’h April202L he drove from Accra to Cape Coast to withdraw his ward from the school.
“The incident led to condemnation from the general public culminating in a directive contained in a press release dated 26th May 2021 from the Ghana Education Service (GES) to the school authorities to allow the Muslim students to fast.
“The GES directive was followed by a reaction from the Methodist Church Ghana in a press release dated 4th May 2021 in which the leadership of the Methodist Church stated that the Methodist Church took “strong exception to the directive given” in the GES press release.
“Several organisations and individuals waded into the matter by reason of which the National Peace Council eventually stepped in to find an amicable resolution to the issue. From the discussions that followed, it emerged that the issue at Wesley Girls’ High School was not merely about preventing Muslim students at the school from fasting, but as a matter of fact, the constitutionally guaranteed religious rights of Muslim students are entirely curtailed in the school.
“The Muslim students at the school are not allowed to: prepare for and perform their five (5) mandatory daily prayers, hold leadership roles in the school including but not limited to prefectship, have their religious scripture (the Holy Qur’an) with them in the school, exercise their constitutional right to associate with other Muslim students in the school, and take isiamicaiiy appropriate dresses with them for prayers in the school.
“Indeed Muslim students at Wesley Girls are not merely subjected to gross discrimination at all levels at the school, but they also suffer bullying /targeting by other students/ prefects , house mistresses, chaplain and teachers. . They are also compelled to attend mandatory Christian church services , a faith they do not subscribe to.
“We have been informed about regulations/subsidiary legislation on school faith practices being worked on. Much as we think this is a laudable move, we believe there is the urgent need not only to broaden the stakeholders’ consultation, but also to expedite the process of putting the regulations into effect in the interest of national peace, harmony and security.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana