President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has given the assurance that he would not sanction any educational content that would corrupt the moral values of the Ghanaian child and demean the cultural sensitivities of the people.
“So long as I am President, it would not be under my watch that anything negative would be introduced into our education,” the President said when he met religious leaders in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital on Sunday.
The meeting was to address the vexed issue of the controversial Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) policy that media reports alleged had been introduced into the Ghanaian schools’ curricula.
The CSE, which seeks to provide young people with knowledge and skills to make informed choices on sexual and reproductive health issues, has for the past two weeks generated public uproar.
Critics, including religious bodies, parents, civil society groups, and political parties have vociferously denounced the proposed educational policy, which they alleged belied the intention to promote the agenda of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans-gender (LGBT) community.
The outcry is borne out of the fear that the CSE is modeled on that of those implemented in some western countries, which accepts LGBT rights as part of the curricula.
But the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Educations Service have categorically stated that there was no plan to promote the agenda of the LGBT community. The Ministry said the CSE guidelines had not been incorporated in the current academic curriculum.
President Akufo-Addo told the clergy categorically that government was not about to introduce “any such negative information for our children.”
He said when the guidelines for the CSE was presented to Cabinet in March, this year, it realised that the contents did not pass the cultural sensitivity test, and therefore, directed that the contents should fall within acceptable Ghanaian cultural values and norms.
The President emphasized that: “There is nothing in the new curricula that comes anywhere near the things that are being circulated on social media,” and that “none of our children who are in kindergarten or primary schools are being taught any of the things that are being alleged.”
He allayed the fears of the religious leaders that he, being a Christian, would not allow anything that would corrupt the morality of the Ghanaian society.
“I want to say with the emphasis at my command that whilst I am President they would not be taught or offered for discussions in our schools, anything negative that comes under the term Comprehensive Sexuality Education.”
“It is a clear statement…a clear and categorical statement as I can make and I am making it to reassure all those that are genuinely concerned that these subjects would not be introduced into our school curriculum.”
“As we speak now, you are in the position to verify for yourselves whether indeed the new curriculum that is being applied incorporate these negative deleterious matter that has incensed all of us.”
Quoting from Mark 8:36, which reads: “For what shall it profit a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his soul” to buttress his point, the President said; “We all want to see a modern Ghana, we all want to move away from practices that retards our progress and we want to adopt new ways of doing things…but I never lose sight of the fact that we should not lose what distinguishes us as Ghanaian in this process.”
“We should not lose our soul in the search for modernisation for progress and prosperity. There are certain cultural practices and believes that would remain contentious and opinions would differ on how we approach them…Luckily for us there are many issues in which we have evolved and sometimes even changed our positions without much acrimony. And through it all, we have never imagined that we should trade what makes us Ghanaians for prosperity.”
President Akufo-Addo appealed to religious leaders to support government’s efforts to put the country on the path to prosperity and make her self-reliant, free of aid.
“We have a lot of work to do and I am urging all of us to put our energies to finding solutions to the many problems that we face and do not allow mischief to distract us”.