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Schools in England do not need to give non-religious views "equal air time" and should continue to teach pupils that the UK is a principally Christian country, new education guidelines say.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan issued the advice a month after the High Court ruled that the new religious studies GCSE wrongfully excluded atheism.

Humanist groups said the legal verdict had "implications" for the curriculum.

But Mrs Morgan said schools had the "freedom" to make their own decision.

After the High Court found against the government, ministers dropped plans to take the issue to the Court of Appeal.

But the new guidance issued by the Department for Education in England clarified that there would be no need to give non-religious beliefs "equal air time" in lessons, saying the court defeat had been on a "narrow, technical point".

'No impact

Teachers Threaten To Reduce Teaching Hours If Motivational And Training Allowances Is Scrapped But Deputy Education Minister They Are Still Approved Fees

Members of the Coalition of Concerned Teachers are threatening to reduce their contact time with students if government continues with plans to scrap teacher motivational and allowance.

The motivation allowance is agreed and levied on students and serves as an incentive for teachers.

However, government says students will no longer be charged from the next academic term.

King Ali Awudu, Vice President of the Coalition said in an interview on PEACE FM that the “decision to pay motivation fee was not started by the government, indeed it was started by the parents themselves. We complained about the challenges we go through to do the extra hours in the classroom. Per GES regulations, a teacher goes to school at 8am and closes at 1:30pm but we stay for an additional 2 hours for just GHC10. And this is what government is making noise about? Then will also take away that 2 hours from our teaching time."

The Deputy Minister for Education, Alex Kyeremeh has, however, dismissed any suggestions and allegations that the Ministry of Education is taking off teachers’ motivational and training allowances.

 

“The Ghana Education Service is responsible for employing teachers, and as such teachers should desist from the habit of blaming the Ministry of Education pertaining problems they face, but rather try to sit with the GES to redress issues they need clearance on to prevent any misunderstanding between their sectors and stakeholders,” he said.

"...Over the years, I have come to realize as a former teacher that, a teacher is the number one person that needs to be taken into consideration, if education would be uplifted in a country. Also ignoring a teacher from his happiness, whiles putting infrastructure and all other equipments needed in place with respect to education would at all cost not achieve aims of better education."

The input of our teachers are very vital to education and we hope this is resolved so as to have uninterrupted teaching and learning.

Authorities of Osei Kyeretwie Senior High School are helpless as their efforts to rid the school’s land of encroachers have yielded no results.

There have been repeated clashes between officials and land developers despite state intervention.

Attempts by authorities to stop some encroachers from undertaking illegal construction saw the Headmaster, Samuel Agyepong; end up at the police station Monday morning.

Located in the Old Tafo suburb of Kumasi, the Osei Kyeretwie Senior High School has no fence wall.

The absence of the fence wall means campus is exposed to all manner of trespassers, some of whom live in houses authorities claim had been illegally built on school land.

Safety and security of students and staff are seriously compromised with reported cases of occasional attacks by unidentified people.

A visit to the school revealed private structures; some very close to the school’s administrative block are being erected.

Officials say a demolition exercise carried years ago put the brakes on encroachers for sometime but they have resurfaced at full swing.

Headmaster, Samuel Agyepong, indicates illegal developers have defied a court injunction imposed five years ago to stop such construction on the school land.

He says attempts to erect a fence wall to secure the school and its land have been restrained by a pending suit filed by alleged encroachers since 2011.

Mr. Agyepong’s determination to stop the persistent encroachment brought him face to face with some developers Monday morning, a situation which saw him end up at the police station.

“With a section of my staff members [we] went to the construction site stop the workers from building on the school land and before I knew they had gone to lodge a complaint at Bremang Police Station that I was interfering in their private activity. A CID from Bremang came with his handcuff to arrest me but the Tafo-Pankrono Divisional Police also arrived at the scene to arrest the workers because of an earlier report I had made against the encroachers”. Frustrated Mr. Agyapong explained.

According to Mr. Agyepong, he was made to write his statement as the court injunctions were read-but the encroachers would still not understand.

But some encroachers believe they are legally occupying the land as they claim to have documents to prove their ownership of the land.

Mr. Agyepong mentioned repeated attacks on him and students of the school by some of the encroachers.

Nevertheless, the frustrated headmaster who proceeds on retirement four days into next year is determined to secure the school’s land from encroachers.

He will petition city authorities, through the Ashanti Regional Directorate of the Ghana Education Service on the issue he describes as very worrying.

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