Now Khaiyum says e-mail was not sanctioned by Solicitor-General; Sources claim pressure on Bole to retract made him ill
School prayers, religious ceremonies or observance are permitted as long as they are not forced upon anyone.
In a letter to the Minister for Education, the Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said religious instruction, ceremony or observance may be given in any school whether a government or private school.
However, neither teachers nor students can be compelled to give or be present if the religious instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion that is not his or her own religion. Sayed-Khaiyum said this is affirmed in Section (22) 6 of the Constitution.
His letter to Minister Filipe Bole dated March 10 further said religious classes can be undertaken and opportunities must be given to students who wish to receive religious instructions of their choice but this must not disrupt classes. Sayed-Khaiyum also said government schools are at liberty to organise prayers for school assemblies and gatherings in the name of God.
The AG pointed out an email from the Ministry dated of January 28, 2014 on devotions and prayers in public and religious schools which purports to provide legal advice on the Constitution and Education Act is misleading and incorrect. The content was not cleared from the Solicitor General’s Office. Source: Fiji Broadcasting Commission