Ghana News

Achimota School Board can’t preempt us, they should chill – Yaw Osei Adutwum

Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister for Education has asked the Board of Achimota SHS to relax over a decision to appeal the High Court ruling ordering the school to enrol the two Rastafarian students who were denied admission into the school.

According to him, it is unfortunate that the Board of Achimota School through the Board Chairman have decided to act unilaterally without consulting the ministry or the Ghana Education Service.

Dr Adutwum told Paul Adom-Otchere on Tuesday’s edition of Good Evening Ghana that, as a Minister of Education, he was surprised to have learnt of the decision by the Board Chairman of Achimota School.

He explained, “I am the Minister for Education and there is a Director-General of Ghana Education Service (GES), Boards of High Schools are constituted by the Minister, instructions for running of the schools are provided by the Director-General of GES, so tomorrow [today], I’m meeting with the Headmistress of Achimota together with the Board Chairman.

“I was very surprised; he cannot take that unilateral position; I’m waiting for the full briefing from the Attorney General whom I commend for going to court and taking a serious interest in this case. And when I’m briefed by the Attorney General after receiving the certified judgement from the court, a decision will be made.”

The MP for Bosomtwe continued: “Who’s the Attorney General, he acts on behalf of the Government of Ghana, he’s the one that should say Minister of Education let’s sit down, where do we go from here. So, nobody can preempt us.

Achimota [School] Board chill!… They should understand that they act at the behest of the Ghana Education Service under their rules and guidance and the Board is constituted by the Minister of Education[…] I’m waiting for the Attorney General to get the certified copy of the ruling, explain to me what the basis is and what I need to do as the Minister for Education and what the Ghana Education Service needs to do through the Director-General of Ghana Education Service.”

The Board of Achimota Senior High School says it will appeal the High Court decision ordering it to admit the two Rastafarian students, Oheneba Nkrabea and Tyrone Marghuy.

The school in a statement issued by its Board on Tuesday 1 June 2021, said it strongly disagrees with the ruling and has instructed its lawyers to appeal the decision.

The statement from the governing Board of the school follows a decision from the Human Rights Division of the Accra High Court on Monday, May 31, 2021, ordering Achimota School to admit the two embattled Rastafarian students.

Justice Gifty Agyei Addo ruled that the fundamental human rights of two students cannot be limited by the rules of Achimota School.

The two, Tyrone Marghuy and Oheneba Kweku Nkrabea, through their parents, filed suits urging the court to enforce their fundamental rights to education.

The two were admitted by the school but were asked to cut their dreadlocks in conformity with the school rules.

The applicants asked the court to “declare that the failure and or refusal of the 1st Respondent (Achimota School Board of Governors) to admit or enrol the Applicant on the basis of his Rastafarian religious inclination, beliefs and culture characterized by his keeping of Rasta is a violation of his fundamental human rights and freedoms guaranteed under the 1992 constitution particularly Articles 12(1), 23, 21(1)(b)(c)”.

The two students also wanted “an order directed at [Achimota School] to immediately admit or enrol the applicant to continue with his education unhindered”.

The applicants further sought compensation for the “inconvenience, embarrassment, waste of time, and violation of his fundamental human rights and freedoms”.

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