THE Noble Order of the Knights and Ladies of Marshall has urged the Ghana Education Service (GES) to heed the President's directives on the matters concerning Religious and Moral Education (RME) in schools.
The Marshallens in a statement by the Supreme Knight Eddie Aloysius Prah, commended the President, Mr John Agyekum Kufuor, for his prompt action on the concerns raised by the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference on the deletion of RME as a major subject from the school curricula.
They appealed to the government to also heed the call by the Bishops by bringing back the teaching of religious and moral studies as part of the educational reform and urged the Bishops not to relent on its instructions for RME to be taught in all Catholic Schools.
They commended the support given by the Christian Council, other Christian bodies and individuals as well as some Islamic bodies and pray that they too would take similar bold steps by directing all their schools to continue to teach their children their religion.
The Marshallens in the statement on the deletion of RME from the school curricula at a press conference last Thursday, said: 'We do this as concerned citizens of our dear motherland, Ghana who passionately desire for a peaceful orderly and very disciplined future of a country in which everyone sees one's self as one's brother's keeper. Again, we are supporting our Bishops' call because we want to bequeath to our children a secure society in which justice, harmony, decency and love of family values prevail.'
'We are of the considered view that the above ideal milieu which is actually what God intended for us can be attained only when, as a people, we are imbued with the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom.'
The surest way of attaining that, it said, was when from their very formative years children undergo religious and moral education both from the home and the school.
'To deprive them of religious and moral education and rather give them a packaged programme which is an appendage to other subjects considered to be more important will only be teaching the child that religion and morality can be relegated to the background.'
The Marshallens said while conceding that it was true many nations do not teach religion and morals in their schools but were yet among the world's most developed countries, 'it was necessary to reckon the social cost to those societies.
What can those who are holding such countries to us as models say about the frequent gunning down of innocent school children, at times by their own teenage mates; the blatant permissiveness leading to moral decadence which has made such unnatural, vulgar and abominable practices as lesbianism and homosexuality acceptable ways of life even among supposed men of God; what do these people say about occultism and high drug addiction among students in such countries, or the high rate of divorce and even suicides among adults of such societies,' they asked.
The answer, the Knights noted was the lack of religious and moral education gave them nothing to hope for and as a result, a gaping hole of emptiness has been created in their lives because from childhood they were not given God.
'We of the Noble Order of the Knights and Ladies of Marshall strongly assert that the example of other countries being thrown at us by the GES is most untenable. We would rather want the situation where we would showcase our way of life resulting from the teaching of religious and moral studies so that these other societies would emulate us.'
They stated that with the world now shrinking into one global village where whatever happens anywhere instantly spreads to all other corners. 'We need to 'insulate' and 'fortify' our children by instilling them religious and moral values. Not to teach them this in our schools will only be condemning to a way of life without God.'
'The church and the state have corroborated very well in education, health delivery and many other fields in the past. It will be most unfortunate if anything would be done now to bring discord in this mutually beneficial corroboration,' they said.