GES orders SHSs heads to allow muslim students to fast but at their own peril

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The Ghana Education Service (GES) has ordered various heads of Senior High schools to allow muslim students who wish to fast during Ramadan to do so but at their own peril.

A statement sighted by and signed by the Head of Public Relations at the GES, Cassandra Twum Ampofo, the service attention has been drawn to various media reports relating to a recent occurrence at Wesley Girls High School, Cape Coast. It started with a student who requested of the School Authorities to be allowed to fast during Ramadan.

The statement disclosed that fasting undertaken by students for various reasons and observed differently by the respective groupings has had varied health implications on our students over the years. The net effect was that students developed various health conditions. The School therefore took the decision, then, that irrespective of one’s religious background, fasting was not permitted.

It was therefore imperative that to ensure the health of students was not compromised vis-avis their organized school schedules, this long- standing practice had to be maintained.

This was the basis for the refusal by the School Authorities of the gir’s request to fast during Ramadan.

Having been appraised of the facts of this case, the Minister for Education met the Presiding Bishop, Most Rev. Dr. Paul Kwabena Boafo and some Board members of Wesley Girls High School. 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 prioritized the health of young sirls placed in their care.

The Minister advised the Ghana Education Service to put in place measures to address this matter bearing in mind the rights of students and concerns of schools on the health risk assoiated with the fasting

The Ghana Education Service therefore directs authorities of Wesley Girls High School as well as any other school to allow any such student who wishes to fast for any religious reason to do so.

The parents of any such student 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.

It has therefore urged the Staff, students and the general public are to take note and act accordingly.

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