Former Central Regional Minister, Kwamena Duncan, has warned authorities of the Achimota school not to treat their Rastafarian students unfairly.
The Achimota school, in March 2021, refused to enroll two Rastafarian students on grounds that their dreadlocks flout the school’s rules.
The students were asked to shave the dreadlocks before they could attend the school but their parents sued the school asking the High Court to “declare that the failure and or refusal of the 1st Respondent (Achimota School Board of Governors) to admit or enroll 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)”.
They also requested, “an order directed at [Achimota School] to immediately admit or enrol the applicant to continue with his education unhindered” and also sought compensation for the “inconvenience, embarrassment, waste of time, and violation of his fundamental human rights and freedoms”.
After about eight weeks of legal battle between the students and the school, the court has ruled for the students to be admitted into the school.
Following the court ruling, there are fears that the students may face a strong opposition and stigma on campus.
As a result, seasoned journalist Kwesi Pratt has advised the parents that ”in the interest of the children, they shouldn’t go to the Achimota school”.
”If I were their parent, I wouldn’t allow them to go to the Achimota school. The victory has already been achieved. The rules have been set for the future. It’s a major victory for the Rastafarian community. That’s enough! Why do you push it to the extent that the children must by all means go to that school? The authorities of the school are at the school. They’re still in authority and so on. It’s not comforting for the children. All eyes will be on them; I don’t think it’s the best thing,” Mr. Pratt added.
But Kwamena Duncan has urged the parents to rather send their children to the school asking ”Who can hate them?”
“I don’t think the Achimota teachers will say you have gone to court and won the case, so we won’t teach you. No, no, not at all; they will continue to be professional…The kids were put there by the system. They m,ust go to school,” he emphasized.
He, however, cautioned the school authorities not to ”victimize these kids. They are Ghanaians and we don’t know what their contribution will be for mother Ghana. All that we want is to move this country forward”.
Send Your Stories to email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Whatsapp: 0576270779