Monday, August 4, 2008

Worship and Assembly in Ghanaian Schools

One reason most schools in Ghana are very different from schools in the United States is that they are usually very focused on religion. Religious and Moral Education (RME) is a required subject in the Ghanaian school system, where children learn about belief systems of all types-- at least those that are common in Ghana. Both Christian and Muslim schools exist, and students who may be of another religious belief (such as my host siblings, who are Buddhist) still attend a religiously oriented school. No one seems to mind, so long as their children are in a good school.

Saying the Lord's Prayer at Sankofa

In addition to RME, the students start and end each day with Assembly. They line up in their classes, say the Lord's Prayer, sing a song that is usually religious in nature, say the Pledge, and then march while singing to their classes. Closing assembly is much the same.

Children at New Life pray during assembly

In many schools, a certain period one day a week is set aside for Worship. At New Life, this consists of singing, dancing, praying, reading from the Bible, and sometimes a competition to see who can best answer religious trivia. At Sankofa, the children gathered into the bamboo school house for a similar ceremony-- singing, praying, and telling of Bible stories.

A child shushes someone during worship at Sankofa

While some people find these enterprises a waste of time, I think it is a beautiful thing that they try so hard to keep their strong feelings of religion in all the aspects of their lives. To hear the children singing songs about Jesus can't help but make you smile.

Danny and Patrick join the kids at Sankofa for Worship.

No comments: