Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Peter Boamah Otokunor, has accused President Akufo-Addo of trivializing the issue of the reported introduction of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) into the country's educational curriculum.
To him, the president missed a great opportunity to put the minds of Ghanaians at ease in his first public reaction to the controversial matter, by failing to openly declare his stance.
“All that the President said was that he will not sit down and allow things which are bad to come to Cabinet for him to approve them. He said he will not allow bad things to be taught in schools. In the first place, he said he has heard that people are complaining of some bad things which are being taught in schools; he couldn’t muster the courage to mention the bad thing he is talking about is Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)”, he argued.
The current administration has come under a barrage of criticisms from religious leaders, civil society groups and concerned individuals and institutions for surreptitiously introducing CSE into the school curricula. Although the educational authorities have denied the allegation on several platforms, the explanation given has not gone down well with many people who have asked the government to come clear on the CSE.
Last Friday, the Minority in Parliament held a news conference, during which it called on the president to publicly state his position on the matter.
They pointed out that the President's silence was not helping matters and only went to confirm the general belief that the government has something to hide.
And perhaps in a bid to bring finality to discussions on the controversial CSE debate, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was emphatic that his administration does not intend to go against the norms and values Ghanaians holds so dear.
In a brief address at the St. Cyprian's Anglican Cathedral at Asem in Kumasi over the weekend, the president said: "We have no plans as a government to do anything that contravened the norms and values of the society".
"There is only one thing I want to say: I think you people have heard within the past days, some discussions have gone on that I and my government want to teach our children some the things that are inappropriate. I brought the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy to strengthen the country so that our children will all get the opportunity to learn and through the education, we will all see the progress we want for this country."
" I didn't bring it for our children to be taught inappropriate contents. So long as I sit on this big seat as the President of this nation, and as a Christian, it will never happen that I will agree for inappropriate things to be taught in our schools. So, please keep your cool. Whatever they are saying has no truth in it," he added.
What Did The Prez Really Talk About?
Speaking on Okay FM’s Ade Akye Abia Morning Show in an interview on Monday, the NDC Deputy Chief Scribe said President Akufo-Addo’s response did not fully address the concerns of Ghanaians as he failed to even mention CSE specifically, but rather trivialized the substantive issue by generalizing it as any ordinary case.
“There is a trending issue in the country and he being the President had a unique opportunity before the clergy and Ghanaians to address it, but he failed to mention what exactly the country is discussing by simply saying it is a bad thing. Was he talking about the armed robbery menace...? Or was it about vigilantism, because it is also not a good practice? Was he talking about murder?.... So, clearly, President Akufo-Addo what at all did he talked about with that opportunity he had?” he rhetorically asked.
"...the President generalized the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) and trivialized the issue and also reduced it completely to an ordinary and insignificant issue to deliberate on...this Comprehensive Sexuality Education is meant to teach the children about lesbianism, gay and transgender and we have opposed such a curriculum to be taught in schools and so we were expecting the President to be bold enough to face the reality staring at our faces and speak to the matter,” he stated.