The country’s religious landscape is likely to change in the next 20 years, as more children embrace the idea that hard work, educational qualification and individual talent are more beneficial in improving one’s socio-economic situation than religious beliefs and practices.
According to the Executive Director of Child Rights International ( CRI), Mr. Bright Appiah, this new thinking of children between the ages of 12 and 17 could lead to a total new introduction of religious beliefs.
In its latest report that covered all the 16 regions of Ghana, over 11,000 children were asked about what they needed to succeed in life.
A majority of the children mentioned educational qualifications, individual talents, effort and status as the top-five success indicators.
Religious beliefs and luck formed the last two of the seven main indicators of success by the children.
The study, undertaken by Child Rights International ( CRI), was aimed at understanding the value, attitudes, concerns and optimism of children aged 12 to 17.
The survey was designed to understand the views, priorities and concerns of Ghana’s young population to enable policymakers build the brightest future for them and unlock the full potential of the country’s demographic dividends.
It was initiated in response to an identified gap in information about children’s perspective about the present and their vision for the future.
Data in the 48-page report were collected from June 2020 to April 16, 2021.
Mr. Appiah said eight out of 10 children interviewed said religion “is at least somewhat important to their lives, with 81 percent stating it is ‘very important’.
” Approximately one in 10 say religion is not too important, or not at all important, in their lives,” Mr. Appiah noted.
For children who are religiously affiliated, Mr. Appiah said the importance attached to religion varied somewhat by demography.
” Eight in 10 girls (82%) compared with 70 percent of male children say religion is very important to their lives. A similar share of both children aged 12-15 years and 16-17 years say religion plays a very important role in their lives,” portions of the report quoted by Mr. Appiah revealed.
Unlike the large regional differences that marked children’s view on many issues, Mr. Appiah said the regional divide indicated that religion “does not play an important role in their lives”.
He indicated that most of the children who stated that religion was least important in their lives were from Volta Region, followed by the Upper East, Bono East and Ahafo Regions.
Mr. Appiah explained that across the 16 regions, the religious profile of children appears to be shaped by their personal faith rather than their parents’ behest or a particular culture.
” More children (73%) think religion is a matter of personal faith, while 23 percent of them indicate that they share the religious affiliations of their families,” he added.
When asked how religious Ghanaians should be in the next 20 years, 32 percent of the respondents said religion will lose its importance; while only 2 percent said it will become very important.
Mr. Appiah stressed the need for society to live a life of integrity and social consciousness, since children emulate society by what they see.
He said it would be suicidal for religion to lose it place in the building of a society, considering its ripple-effects on the next generation.