Social commentator, Bernard Allotey Jacobs says the Achimota school’s management decision to seek an appeal following the High Court ruling on the Rastafarian students’ situation will come to nothing.
The management of the Achimota School, in March this year, refused to admit two Rastafarian students, Tyron Iras Marhguy and Oheneba Kwaku Nkrabea, because they have dreadlocks.
The school argued the students’ dreadlocks was against their rules, so to shave the dreadlocks before they will be enrolled.
Parents of the students sued the Achimota school, the Minister of Education, Ghana Education Service and the Attorney General.
They prayed the 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 asked for ”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”.
The Human Rights Division of the Accra High Court presided by Justice Gifty Agyei Addo, giving verdict on the case on Monday, June 1, ordered the Achimota School to admit the students.
The court ruled that the fundamental human rights of two students cannot be limited by the rules.
The Achimota school has threatened to seek an appeal saying, in a press statement, that, “the Governing Board of Achimota School . . . has learned of the outcome of the case brought against it by two persons who had earlier applied to be admitted in the school. The school board disagrees with the ruling of the court. The school has therefore directed its lawyers to appeal against the ruling”.
Commenting during Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’ programme, Allotey Jacobs believed ”once they have been to the Human Rights Court, they should expect that, even if they go to the Court of Appeal, they will lose because this is a human right issue”.
He appealed to the school’s “governing board to let peace reign. The children must peacefully go to their school. What they need to do is to monitor these kids but not to, in any way, victimize the kids”.