Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.

Earlier generations used our secondary school system to foster unity, compassion and national cohesion.

Sadly, our generation is committing the cardinal sin of ‘the narcisism of small differences’ as Sigmund Freud puts it when he ridicules the obsession of some people about trifle religious and identity divisions.

Many analysts agree that Ghana’s boarding school policies were skillfully crafted to promote inclusivity and is a major contributory factor why we have escaped ethnic and religious conflict unlike many other countries in the region.

What has changed so much that that which used to make others admire us is now the source of tension? I know many interdenominational Scripture Union members (because I was one) across multiple mission schools who were allowed to skip dining hall because of unique fasting and prayer sessions.

Why should the case be different for Muslims? When did ‘we are all created in the image of God (imago Dei),’ ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged’ and ‘love thy neighbour as thyself’ depart our land?

Pedagogical experts have argued that schools should switch to teaching ‘the four Cs’ — critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity.

Don’t we realize that what we are teaching our children with these unfortunate episodes is very much against the foundations of the four Cs and even more dangerously against the harmony and peace of our future co-existence as a republic?

Shouldn’t we rather use this energy to demand a stable Free SHS calendar, approved and credible textbooks, adequate infrastructure, motivated teachers, relevant curriculum, investments in STEM and inculcating a Pan African pride that shatters all lack of confidence in the next generation of black people.

I must reiterate that the Godless ethics that seems to care less for the suffering of youngsters and shows no compassion for the teenagers we are consciously throwing out of our schools because of their religious manifestation or the state of their hair must be outrightly condemned and brought to a stop.

As I said in Parliament the other day, perhaps the time has come to strictly legislate out of the current chaos, particularly, considering how easy it is for public schools to defy the GES and how helpless the Ministry of Education and by extension Government has become in these matters.

As we teeter on the verge of disintegration, may we once again find compassion and national cohesion as taught in the Bible, Quran, Vedas, Tanakh, Tripitaka and many others.


The writer is the North Tongu MP and a former Deputy Education Minister.