The Executive Director at Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare has asked the Ghana Education Service to standardize all rules governing the country’s Senior High Schools (SHS).
His comment comes in the wake of the recent impasse between Wesley Girls’ High School (WGHS) and a Muslim student over her right to fast in spite of what the school insists is a non-discriminatory “No Fasting Policy”.
For Mr Asare, this challenge presents an opportunity for regulators in the education industry “to make changes to rules that may have outlived their usefulness”.
Capitalizing on this opportunity, he indicated that he has submitted a proposal to the Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum as well as the Chairman of Parliament’s Select Committee on Education to help forestall any future occurrences of this nature.
He believes that implementing the list of items contained in the proposal would ensure inclusiveness and consistency in Senior High School irrespective of the school’s missionary background or otherwise.
Speaking on JoyNew’s PM:Express, he outlined the highlights of the proposal, stating, “First of all, we need to conduct a baseline of existing codified rules and uncodified rules in all our schools to have a sense of the rules that exist- conventionally or written.
“Second is to standardize the rules irrespective of the mission, every school is a public school. We need to have one set of rules governing all Senior High Schools that are government-assisted or are run with state funds.
“Third, build consensus among all the key stakeholders…for them to adopt a common code of conduct for all the schools; focusing on education, not religion because the child is in school first to learn.
“Then ensure that these standardized rules are consistent with our constitution, are sufficiently inclusive and are also consistent with the modern demands of modernity and discipline”.
According to the Executive Secretary, when these codes are standardized, “the regulator or the oversight agency, GES, will be able to monitor the implementation of these standardized codes in all 700+ senior high schools”.
In the absence of that, he is of the opinion that it makes it very “challenging to coordinate them”.
On the WGHS situation, he recommended that the GES work through the members of the school’s board, the highest decision-making body in the governance of the school to “achieve some sanity there”.
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