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13.12.2007 Business & Finance

Committee To Discuss RME Issue Again

The Presidential Committee on the Review of the Educational Reforms is to reconvene to discuss the thorny issues which have emerged on the teaching of Religious and Moral Education (RME) as a subject at the basic education level.

The 29-member committee is meeting at the instance of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports (MOESS) after the President's directive to the ministry to facilitate a dialogue among the stakeholders of the educational sector to resolve the controversy over the teaching of the subject.

The Minister of Education, Science and Sports, Prof Dominic Fobih, who confirmed this to the Daily Graphic, said the ministry had made a formal request to the committee, asking it to meet and discuss the issue and report back to the ministry.

The minister could not give details as to when the committee would start work and when it was expected to present its report to the ministry but indications are that Prof Jophus Anamuah-Mensah, the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba, who chaired the committee, has travelled outside the country and is expected to convene the meeting as soon as he returns.

The Catholic Bishops Conference, in a communiqué issued in Kumasi early last month after its meeting, called on the government to re-introduce RME as a subject, instead of it being a concept in the school curriculum.

According to the Bishops, “sidelining religion and morality from education is tantamount to condemning the human person to a lack of means to develop himself or herself fully to be a human being in the society”.

The position of the Bishops attracted other voices of disapproval concerning the non-inclusion of RME in the school curriculum, particularly from the Christian and Muslim communities.

However, officials of the ministry and the Ghana Education Service (GES) contended that RME had been adequately catered for in the syllabus.

It was on the basis of that controversy that President Kufuor asked the ministry to seek a dialogue with all the partners to resolve the impasse.

The Presidential Committee on the Review of the Educational Reforms was inaugurated by President Kufuor on January 17, 2002, to review the country's entire educational system with a view to making it more responsive to current challenges.

The committee presented its report to the government in October 2002, after which the government issued a White Paper on the recommendations of the report, whose implementation began in September this year.

Members of the committee include Prof F.O. Kwami, a former Vice-Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST); Prof Henrietta Mensah-Bonsu of the Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana; Dr D. A.
Akyeampong of the Mathematics Department of the University of Ghana; Alhaji Rahim Gbadamosi, a former Director-General of the GES; Madam Sylvia Boye of the Ghana Education Trust Fund, and Mr Emmanuel Acquaye of the Basic Education Division at the GES.

Others are the Most Rev Dr Robert Aboagye-Mensah, the President of the Methodist Conference; Mr Gerald Annan-Forson of the Concerned Parents Association; Mr Kosi Kedem, a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Hohoe South; Mrs Lydia Osei of the GES, and Mr Edward Bawa, a former President of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS).

Story by Kofi Yeboah