Education

State reasons for rejecting Rastafarian students – Lawyer to Achimota school

Wayoe Ghanamannti, lawyer of Oheneba Kwaku Nkrabea and Tyrone Iras Marhguy has written to the Achimota school asking the educational institution to state reasons for denying his clients admission into the school.

Wayoe Ghanamannti, in the letter dated March 23, 2021, said: “My clients inform me that their wards who have duly qualified and been placed in your school, by the Ghana Education Service have been refused entry to begin their academic work”.

Therefore, “kindly state your reasons for your actions to enable me to advise my clients accordingly, as academic work has begun in all Senior High Schools”, he added.

The Rastafarian students were barred from beginning the academic year at the Achimota School because of their dreadlocks. A number of Ghanaians have rebuked the school for taken such action.

The GES issued a directive to Achimota to allow the students however the school rejected it. This was supported by the Old Students Association and the Parents and Teachers Association of Achimota.

The President of the Old Achimotans Association, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey described the decision by the Ghana Education Service as undermining the authority of the school’s governing board.

The PTA Chairman, Dr. Andre Kwasi-Kumah, in a statement, said the school’s rules that insist that all students must keep their hair low, simple and natural cannot be compromised or exceptions made.

More so, the President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Angel Carbonu suggested that if Rastafarians want their children to keep their dreadlocks on in senior high schools (SHS), then they should set up their own schools in Ghana.

Mother of dreadlocked student, Maanaa Myers had expressed her disappointment over the non-compromising position by the school.

 

In support of the Rastafarian, the Child Rights International called on the Achimota School to reverse the decision.

“The constitution of our country bestows the right to education as a substantive right of every child and no other impediment can be placed on any child in that regard,” the NGO said in a statement.

Child Rights said a balance between the school rules and rights of parents was necessary in this situation.

“In our opinion, where there is a clash, each school must find its relevant space within our educational system but the ultimate is the substantive rights of children.”

“A child should not be denied access to education irrespective of his/her makeup, even if its ‘Rastafarian hair’,” Child Rights stressed.

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