The popular Achimota School has sparked intense public anger over its refusal to admit two Rastafarian students with dreadlocks, claiming the school rules forbids dreadlocks.
Parents of the embattled students have told Whatsup News exclusively that they have engaged the services of two legal firms to file a suit against the school for discrimination and breach of the rights of the students to education.
In a so-called rule that is a vestige of the flagrant colonial criminalisation of African hair, the famous Achimota school turned away the brilliant students who had passed their basic level examinations and had been selected automatically by the computer placement system.
“Authorities of Achimota School claimed that their rules do not allow students with dreadlocks to be admitted. The school authority denied two brilliant dreadlock students…My son was one of the affected children…As a child, he has every right to his culture in so far as such culture do not breach the 1992 Constitution,” wrote Raswad Menkrabea, the distraught father of one of the rejected students.
Mr. Menkrabea told Whatsup News that when the schools turned away the students, he demanded the school rules for the specific sections referencing dreadlocks as a prohibited hair type for students, but the school authorities refused, insisting on their rejection by just word of mouth
“As a Rastafarian, I think that dreadlocks do no way cause any harm which should even be a basis to be asserted by the school authorities. The fundamental question is what does our law say about the right to one’s culture? Do you deny a child access to education based on his/her culture? Do public school rules override the supreme law of the land?” Raswad Menkrabea wrote.
Ghanaian social media has gone agog since Menkrabea posted the complaint on his social media handle. The former Member of Parliament of Kumbungu Constituency Ras Mubarak has expressed his exasperation over the news, saying it was a bold-faced breach of Ghana’s 1992 constitution.
“The provisions of our constitution are clear, No child shall be deprived by any other person of medical treatment, EDUCATION or any other social or economic benefit by reason only of religious or other beliefs,” Ras Mubarak wrote on his Facebook.
Meanwhile, Accra Academy, a school with a similar prestigious status as the Achimota School has taken a dig at the school for its refusal to admit students whose religion and culture required them to grow their hair in locks.
An alumni group of Accra Academy fired some jabs the way of Achimota by extolling non-discriminatory policy, unlike that of Achimota. “An Academy built for everyone. Non-discriminatory, not a school built by colonialists that continue to reinforce colonial narratives. A school that teaches you your identity. A proper school like Accra Academy” wrote the alumni group on Facebook. They have the name: The 1931 James Town Boys-Accra Academy.