Rasta impasse: Achimota rules must be respected – MP

A member of the Education Committee of Parliament Peter Nortsu has waded in the admission impasse between some students with dreadlocks and Achimota school saying the school’s rules must be respected.

Achimota School says it cannot admit the students until they cut off their dreadlocks. The decision has caused sharp division among Ghanaians with people supporting and opposing in equal measure.

“If it’s against the regulation of the school, then we should go by the regulation of the school. That’s my position. The education and school authorities should sit and resolve the matter because they are thinking of the ramification if this is allowed.

“GES should go back to the school and look at the regulations there as to whether they’ve had people wearing dreads in the past,” he told Francis Abban on the Morning Starr Thursday.

Meanwhile, lawmaker Ras Mubarak has described utterances of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) in the admission standoff as disgraceful.

According to the former Kumbungu lawmaker, the leadership of NAGRAT commenting on the matter out of ignorance.

“Someone in the capacity of the NAGRAT President shouldn’t be making such disgraceful comments. NAGRAT is speaking out of ignorance. What they [Achimota School] done smacks of colonial mentality. You can’t deny these two kids access to education because of their religion and Achimota school can be sued for all manner of things,” the former lawmaker said.

NAGRAT has defended the decision of Achimota school in refusing admission to the students until their hair is cut.

NAGRAT President Eric Angel Carbonu said the exemptions will lead to a chaotic school environment in the country and has asked the GES to redirect the management of Achimota School to ensure students abide by rules.

He said “the population of students in Achimota Senior High School is about 4,000 students with about 130 teachers. To be able to manage 4,000 students coming from different homes with different upbringing, different training and different behaviour needs to have universal rules and regulation that ought to be followed by all students in the school, We cannot begin, this day, to start making exemptions for individual students based on their belief, based on their culture, based on their tradition, and based on many other issues”.

“That will lead to a chaotic school environment. And a chaotic school environment becomes an indisciplined school environment that cannot produce the result that we expect. NAGRAT totally disagrees with the position of the management of the GES and we are calling on the GES to redirect the headmistress and the staff of the Achimota Senior High School to ensure that the rules and regulations of Achimota School and indeed any other senior high school is abided by every student.”

Mr Carbonu added “one does not understand why people want to turn our schools into deregulated institutions where people’s whims and caprices hold way. The school is not a fashion environment, the school is not an environment to exhibit one’s religious beliefs. The school is an environment for training and conformity is part of training.”

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