Not a few eyebrows were raised in a recent media report about the denial of Muslim Girls at the Wesley Girls High School in Cape Coast in the Central region, to observe the 30 days mandatory Fasting, which is one of the five Pillars in Islam by school authorities.
As a newspaper, we were not so worried about the school authourities action, as to the attitude of the Methodist Church, which issued a statement in support of the school, after a directive from the Ghana Education Service (GES) to the school to allow the girls to fast.
According to the statement from the Church, it took "strong exception" to the directive stressing that it "cannot accede to the unilateral directive issued by the Ghana Education Service."
It insisted that the Ghana Education Service "respects the long-standing partnership between Government and Mission Schools."
It argued that the school rule in question "is a long-standing one which is also non-religious and various renowned Muslim ladies in Ghana have passed through the school adhering to such a rule."
As a newspaper, we condemn the penchant for Heads of institutions to foist their religion on students.
Schools are where children are meant to be shaped into leaders of the future. It is an environment which should only be for the imparting of the highest values of the society, any attempt to force them into doing something that is against their belief or deny them the right to practice their belief, we are setting them off to become bitter persons in future.
From the foregoing, it is abundantly clear that Wesley Girls School and schools that behave like that are doing more harm than good.
It is a sad commentary on the nation's attempt at religious tolerance and the constitutionally guaranteed right to worship.
Much as this newspaper holds nothing against the school and Methodist Church on doing what is right for the students under their care, we insist that denying them their right to fast, is a little too harsh.