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Opinions of Friday, 27 March 2015

Columnist: Association Of Catholic Teachers

Religious Freedom In Schools

The Association Of Catholic Teachers’ Press Statement On Religious Freedom In Schools

We, members of the Association of Catholic Teachers (ACT) in the Kumasi Province, having reflected on recent events in our dear country on RELIGIOUS FREEDOM in education sector come out with this statement. On RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION IN GHANA we want to ask a simple question: Is it not a fact that the Ghana Education Service accepted the teaching of the Koran as a condition for the absorption of Islamic schools into the public system? We humbly request answers to these questions from Government.

On BREACH OF FAITH, we say that the Government has breached the Partnership Agreement in Education with the Churches by gradually taking over the management function and now seeking to abolish the very reason the Churches established Schools - to evangelize. We consider this BREACH by Government as GOOD REASON for the Churches to take back their Schools and run them as private institutions since every RELIGIOUS BODY IS FREE to establish her own school.

We assure our Bishops that should Government fail to reason with them and they take back our Schools, we shall teach for the SAKE OF CHRIST to continue to offer HOLISTIC EDUCATION that the CATHOLIC CHURCH stands for.

To ALL CATHOLIC FAITHFULS, we request your fervent prayers and support for our Bishops. During this period of Lent let us ask our Mother Mary to pray for ALL WHO HAVE BENEFITTED FROM CATHOLIC EDUCATION but have now turned against the Church of her Son.

We also plead with you to send your children to Catholic Schools so that as PTA members you can help build our Catholic Schools.

TO POLITICIANS: We wish to appeal to them to desist from creating non-existing ‘conflict’ between Christians and Muslims in relation to school worship in the mission schools.

For the sake of NATIONAL INTEGRATION we pause to ask: 'should a Catholic who attends an Islamic burial service of a bereaved relative or friend insist on a Catholic Mass because of FREEDOM OF RELIGION?

We call for religious tolerance from ALL RELIGIONS and plead with the National Peace Council, The National Catholic Secretariat and the Christian Council of Ghana, Muslims, Pentecostals, Traditionalists and all Ghanaians of goodwill to help make it happen.

In conclusion, we appeal to the Ghana Education Service to implement Hon. Spio-Garbrah's directive as Minister of Education on THE RIGHT OF EDUCATIONAL UNITS TO MANAGE AND SUPERVISE EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS ESTABLISHED AND DEVELOPED BY THEIR RESPECTIVE RELIGIOUS BODIES IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE GOVERNMENT. Thank you.

Signed

Date: 16th March, 2015

By Eric Kyei (Chairman, Kumasi Province: 0244133693)

Williams Boakye-Baafi (Coordinator, Kumasi Province: 0208825287)

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