The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and Old Achimotan Association (OAA), old students of Achimota School, have opposed a directive by the Ghana Education Service (GES) for authorities of Achimota Senior High School to readmit two students with dreadlocks.
Last week, the school authorities directed the duo to cut their hair before they would be allowed into the classrooms, a development which has sparked mixed reactions in Ghana.
However, the GES has directed the authorities of Achimota School to admit the two first-year students who reported with dreadlocks for them to begin the academic year with their colleagues.
“You cannot say that you will not admit someone on the basis of the person’s religious belief and so we have asked the head to allow the children to be in school,” director-general of GES, Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa said.
Reacting to the directive, president of NAGRAT Angel Carbonu told Beatrice Aidoo on Asaase Radio’s The Big Bulletin on Monday (22 March) that: “We’ve to act now else very soon people will come and say the Armed Forces and the Ghana Police Service should allow all manner of persons because cutting hair is outmoded and so it should be accepted.”
I’ll go to court
Raswad Nkrabea, father of one of the students, has served notice he will head to court for legal redress.
“The assistant director was saying that he didn’t understand why there was this big social media issue and why the media is making a brouhaha over this and that he felt that the thing has been blown out of proportion.
“He spoke about the rules from the GES, and she spoke about the rules of the school, and eventually they said we should cut the child’s locks and I said that is totally impossible. He went on to ask the principal headmistress if she will make a compromise with the parents, and she said no.
“I told them that, I will go to court because there is no law in this land if the school’s rules are above the constitution so let us see what the court has to say [on this],” Nkrabea was quoted by Citinewsroom as saying.
Speaking earlier at a press conference, Carbonu said: “We have no option than to solidarise with our teachers in Achimota [School] and in any other school. Any court case that will rise from this matter, NAGRAT will attach itself as an interested party in that court case because it will not serve our interest to limit this to Rastafarians.”
He added: “The issues have to be expanded to encompass the adherence to rules and regulations in senior high schools. And if the senior high schools do not have the right to make the laws, rules and regulations for their students let the court so rule and if that happens, we will also come to the society and let you know how we are going to apprise ourselves to that court rule.”
On their part, the old students’ association of Achimota School, OAA, said the GES has overstepped its boundaries and must allow the school’s governing board to handle the case.