THE Chairman of the Educational Reform Review Committee, Prof Jophus Anamuah-Mensah, has confirmed that the committee recommended the teaching of Religious and Moral Education (RME) as a subject.
He added that not only was the recommendation made; the committee went further to propose that RME permeate the teaching of all subjects at the primary and junior high schools.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, Prof Anamuah-Mensah said the moral and religious upbringing of children for them to become responsible adults was a basic tenet underlying that proposal.
He said a cursory reading of the Report of the President’s Committee on Review of Educational Reforms in Ghana, submitted in October 2002, was clear on the teaching RME not only as a subject but an integral part of other subjects such as Business and Mathematics.
He said the committee made the proposition based on falling moral standards, with a view on the need for a “more practical orientation” to the teaching of RME.
In apparent reference to the executive summary of the report, Prof Anamuah-Mensah noted that one of the first underlying principles in the report to guide education was the belief among most Ghanaians in a supreme being.
Prof Anamuah-Mensah said although the committee had made that and other proposals, the report was now in the implementation stage and a National Implementation Committee had been set up to implement it.
“The implementation aspect of the report is the issue now and the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service (GES) are the best agencies to ask why RME has been taken out and the reason for that,” he said.
He, however, discounted public assertions that RME might have been taken out as a donor conditionality, since many donors in Europe and the United States had, for some years now, taken from their curriculum similar subjects.
When asked how teachers were going to take up the challenge of teaching RME as elements in other subjects, Prof Anamuah-Mensah said the training and re-training of teachers was also recommended as being basic and integral to the reforms implementation programme.
The deletion of RME from the school curriculum has sparked off controversy, with the Catholic Bishops Conference issuing a strongly-worded pastoral letter calling for the re-introduction of the subject and a free hand to appoint Catholics as heads and assistant heads of Catholic institutions.
DAILY GRAPHIC, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2007, PG 22