Addis Abeba- The Ministry of Education (MoE) issued a statement distancing itself from complaints by Muslim students in Addis Abeba that led to protests after many schools in Addis Abeba prevented the students from holding prayers and other activities on school premises during the ongoing holy month of Ramadan.
“The ministry felt the need to offer clarification since the issue is being linked to the ministry on different social media platforms due to lack of understanding of the federal system,” ethiopia was following, the statement said.
On 08 April, protests erupted in various mosques in the city during salat prayers after many schools Muslim prevented students from holding prayers and other activities on school premises during the holy month of Ramadan. The ban was first implemented at Lemi Kora Chora high school. Muslim students wearing school uniforms and thousands of Muslims in the city participated at the protests carrying banners expressing the students; disapproval of the decision by school principals with messages including “hands off our students”, and “we do not negotiate on out salat”, among others.
In the statement, the ministry said an explanation was needed on the issue due to “lack of understanding with regards to how the federal system operates and how the relationship between primary and secondary schools in the regions and the Ministry at the federal level is governed.”
The ministry cited article 34 of proclamation 1263/2014 and explained that the article limits it from interfering in regional education bureaus unless the circumstances are beyond the capacity of the regional education bureaus. Following this, it asserted that the recent religious controversies in some schools of Addis Abeba fall under the jurisdiction of the Addis Abeba city administration education bureau, as per the constitution.
The presser did, however, offer a reminder, as an outcome of the national policy principles and aims of article 90, sub-article 2, that education should be conducted in all forms free from religious, political, and cultural influence.
The Addis Abeba Islamic Affairs’ High Council on Monday said that after discussions with the deputy head of the Addis Abeba City Administration Education Bureau, the High Council was verbally assured by a phone call that the Education bureau has decided that Muslim students in schools in the city can pray during prayer hour outside the school compounds during prayers. AS
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