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26.11.2007 Education

Methodists, Islamic group back call for moral education

An Islamic civil society group, the Jamait Al-Heddayat Al (JAI), and the General Purposes Council (GPC) of the Methodist Church of Ghana have joined the clamour for the re-introduction of Religious and Moral Education (RME) as a core subject in schools.

The call, which was first made by the Catholic Bishops Conference, has already received support from various bodies, including the Christian Council of Ghana.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Accra Sunday, the Vice-Chairman of JAI, Alhaji Yussif Issah, said the inclusion of RME in the school syllabus would help improve the current low stan¬dard of morality and virtue in society.

He said Ghanaians had adopted foreign cultures and socialisation processes and copied virtually every foreign lifestyle, including the bad, saying that had contributed to the lowering of moral standards in the country.

He said the media had not helped in improving morality and decency in society and described some of the programmes shown on television as contributory factors to the situation.

"Today, the dress code for many students, especially those in tertiary institutions, is repugnant and a bad reflection of the true African," he said.

Alhaji Issah said RME would appeal to the conscience of students and help them to decipher the good from the bad.

He, therefore, appealed to the government to take a look at the call by the Bishops Conference and consider a review of the particular aspect of RME in the new educational review.

"These calls are not to oppose the smooth running of the educational system hut generally-improve education in the country," he stressed.

The vice-chairman also entreated the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs to launch a campaign for Ghanaian women to dress decently and have regard for Ghanaian customs and traditions.

The GPC of the Methodist Church, in a statement, demanded that RME be taught "in its own right and as an examinable subject on the school timetable".

In a statement signed by the Presiding Bishop of the church, the Most Rev Dr Robert Aboagye-Mensah, the church expressed worry about how RME was now being taught as concepts in schools under the country's educational reform.

It said a meeting of the GPC held in Sunyani from November 13-16,2007 came to the conclusion that the only way to stop moral decadence among the youth was to re-emphasise the teaching of RME in schools.

"The church recalls with gratitude to God the role it has played in the past in producing Godfearing citizens, including leaders of state, industry and commerce at local and international levels, and has no hesitation whatsoever in believing that the only way forward is the re-introduction of RME in our schools," the statement said.

It pledged the loyalty and support of the church to the government in the implementation of the new educational reform and re-affirmed its partnership in the provision of quality education, of which RME was an inseparable component.

It also expressed the church's gratitude to God for President J.A. Kufuor's life after the accident in which he was involved.

"The meeting thanked the Almighty God that no death was recorded but regretted the indiscipline on our roads leading to accidents and deaths," the statement said.