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Prayer and Constitution

Torika Tokalau
Thursday, March 13, 2014

EDUCATION Minister Filipe Bole is not aware of a letter sent from Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum on clarification of prayer in schools as stated in the Constitution.

On Monday, the A-G sent a letter to Mr Bole referring to an email from the Education Ministry sent to his office on January 28 on devotions and prayers in public and religious schools.

The letter stated that the email purported to provide legal advice on the provisions of the Constitution and Education Act was incorrect and misleading.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said it was incorrect and misleading, and was prepared without any legal clearance from the Solicitor-General's Office.

"I didn't receive any letter from anybody. I am at the moment in Suva. I just got back from Taveuni," said Mr Bole.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum stated that while section 4 of the Constitution expressly provides that the State and religion are separate, this does not mean that schools could not conduct prayers and devotion classes for their students.

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