Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt, has asked the parents of the Rastafarian students who were refused entry into the Achimota school not to send their children to the school.
Kwesi Pratt said this while commenting on the Accra High Court ruling in favour of the students.
In March this year, management of the Achimota School refused to admit two Rastafarian students, Tyron Iras Marhguy and Oheneba Kwaku Nkrabea, because they have dreadlocks.
The school indicated that the students would only be enrolled on condition that they shave their dreadlocks which, according to the management, is in accordance with the school’s rules.
The school incurred the wrath of the Rastafarian parents who sued the Achimota school, the Minister of Education, Ghana Education Service and the Attorney General and 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 demanded ”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, 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, therefore the school must enroll the students with their dreadlocks.
But Kwesi Pratt has advised the students not to attend the Achimota school.
He believes the students’ stay in the school will be made uncomfortable because they are going to meet the same authorities who refused to admit them.
He added that the students will also face some stigma because of their parents’ legal action against the school, therefore advising the parents to find a different school for them.
“Maybe, 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,” he said.