Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Education Minister designate
Seventy-three Muslim students at the St. Vincent College of Education in Yendi, Northern Region, have been punished for failing to attend morning devotion.
This resulted in the destroying of examination materials and vandalizing of school properties by some affected students.
They were asked to weed around the school football field for displaying an act of insubordination.
Information available to this paper indicates that examinations had been suspended until the punishment had been executed by the students.
According to the Muslim students, they thought they were being forced to practise Christianity with the continued morning devotion in the school, which they claimed is done throughout the week.
They indicated that they had devoted themselves to Islam and that the everyday devotion is an attempt to drag them into Christianity.
However they told DAILY GUIDE that they do not have a problem if the religious exercise is carried out once a week saying, “It’s everyday and they make us sing Christian songs and all that.”
When DAILY GUIDE contacted the Principal, Dr. Erasmus Novio Moti, he confirmed the incident but quickly said that the students were punished for failing to be part of the assembly.
According to him, they refused to do the punishment and so the school authorities decided not to allow them write their examination.
Dr. Erasmus Novio Moti hinted that the said students rather went and vandalized examination papers of other students.
“Instead of them addressing their concerns through the right procedure, they decided to take the law into their own hands,” the principal stated.
He disclosed that the Monday to Friday assembly is compulsory for all students, irrespective of their religious affiliations.
“The position of the school on the matter has been discussed with some officials of the Muslim Council from Accra,” he indicated.
The Municipal Chief Executive and the District Education Director are said to have intervened on behalf of the students, but insisted that they should do the punishment before they are allowed to write the exams.
FROM Eric Kombat, Yendi