The 2020 WASSCE time table released by WAEC finds that Seventh-Day Adventist students in Ghana will write some papers on Saturdays. This is the first time WAEC is compelling students to write exams on Saturdays. Seventh-Day Adventists are known for their strict observance of Saturday as the Sabbath day of the Lord, for their emphasis on maintaining health as part of religious duty, and for their mission activities around the world.
The time table has raised some disturbing questions among Adventists as to whether the authorities did this intentionally or unintentionally considering the fact that none of the papers has been scheduled for Sundays. Apart from Adventist students who have been scheduled to write exams on Saturdays, examination will take place in Adventist Senior High Schools that are examination centers and be supervised by Adventist teachers on Saturdays.
Unfortunately, this insidious attack on religious freedom took the church leadership by surprise and has left them in a state of shock and confusion. The leadership of the SDA church in Ghana has appealed to the President of Ghana, the education Minister and WAEC to reconsider the time table and are awaiting for a response.
In 2019, the Korean Supreme Court upheld the right of an Adventist student to take university exams outside of Sabbath hours. Prior to this ruling, many Adventist students in Korea had sacrificed educational or career advancements in order to stay true to their convictions. In May this year, the National Education Council and the Ministry of Education in Brazil decided to take classes lost during the Covid-19 on Saturdays. This was going to harm thousands of young Adventists in secular institutions as well as Jews. However, the Legislative Assembly voted subsequently to guarantee every student the right to fulfill an alternative way, without prejudice, classes and academic requirements scheduled for the days of religious guard.
The leadership of the SDA Church in Ghana, North America Ghanaian Seventh-Day Adventists (NAGSDA) and ERGACOM have all appealed to their members to pray for divine intervention of this unfortunate development.