Religious leaders applaud President for declaration on CSE

The Office of the National Chief Imam and the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) have welcomed the declaration by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, that his government has no intention of implementing the guidelines of the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in basic schools in the country.

While commending the President for his position on the CSE, the two entities said the President’s declaration was reassuring and expressed the hope that he would keep his word.

Office of the Chief Imam

Speaking to the Daily Graphic on Monday, the Special Aide to the Chief Imam, Alhaji Khuzaima Osman, said the National Chief Imam was encouraged by the fact that the President had broken his silence on the matter and spoken clearly that the CSE would not be introduced into the school curriculum.

He noted that the pronouncement by the President was a major development that would settle the brouhaha that had greeted the CSE over the past two weeks.

Good gesture

“First of all, we want to say that the position of the President in publicly denouncing the CSE is a good gesture for public confidence and we commend him.

“We want to take the President for his word, with the belief that the CSE, that includes LGBT rights, will not surface in our educational system,” he said.

The Chief’s Imam’s Office had earlier joined a number of faith-based organisations (FBOs), traditional leaders, civil society organisations (CSOs) and other activists to strongly oppose the introduction of the CSE into the school system, especially for six-year-olds.

In his first public response to the ensuing brouhaha, President Akufo-Addo, during a service to climax the St Cyprian’s Anglican Cathedral Week in Kumasi last Sunday, allayed the fears of the public that there was no way the CSE would be allowed into the school system.

He stated categorically that the CSE was alien to the country’s culture and value system, for which reason the government would not allow it to be introduced for children to study.

Positive action

Following that assurance, the Chief Imam’s Office said it was sure the chapter of uncertainty over the CSE had been closed.

Alhaji Osman stated that the Chief Imam’s earlier position on the CSE was part of the mandate of FBOs to protect the moral fibre of society.

He commended other FBOs and religious leaders for standing firmly against the rumoured CSE policy, noting that the positive defiance was good for national development.

“The one voice with which we all spoke on the issue of the CSE is an indication that FBOs and religious leaders have a strong voice to speak out on key national issues. Therefore, politicians who badly govern the country should take a cue from this and know that we will come at them,” he stressed.

Pentecostal and Charismatic Council

For its part, the GPCC said it was taking the President for his word for coming out clearly that he had no intention of implementing the policy guidelines of the CSE in the country.

The General Secretary of the GPCC, Rev. Emmanuel Teimah Barrigah, who spoke to the Daily Graphic on Monday, said the council was satisfied with the candid position the President had taken on the issue.

He said the GPCC was not against the introduction of the CSE in its totality, “but we are against the way it has been crafted, such as the age inappropriateness and the subtle link to the LGBT rights.

Home-grown curriculum

“Those are the things that we are against and any attempt to introduce it in its current form will be strongly resisted,” Rev. Barrigah said.

He explained that the GPCC wanted the total withdrawal of what was circulating all over the place and for proper stakeholder discussions be initiated, “so that parents, teachers and state institutions such as the Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service (GES), the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) and faith-based organisations will dialogue in order to produce a document that is culturally acceptable and in keeping with our religious beliefs”.

“With this, we will come up with a home-grown curriculum in line with our cultural norms and religious beliefs. That is the position of FBOs in the country,” he added.

He said the GPCC was working closely with the National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values, which comprises other FBOs such as the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference (GCBC), the Ahmadiyya Mission and the Office of the Chief Imam, on a common position on the introduction of the CSE.