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General News of Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Source: gbcghanaonline.com

Achimota School didn’t err in its decision not to admit Rastafarians - Prof. George Oduro

Former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast Professor George Oduro says Achimota School did not err in its decision not to admit the two Rastafarian students.

He noted that although the constitution allows for freedom of association and rights, the school system has its own set of rules which must be followed strictly devoid of religious differences.

Professor Oduro urged the GES to rather manage the situation properly.

Background

Authorities of the Achimota School in Accra had on Thursday turned home the dreadlocked students, asking the parents to cut off their hair or find
another school for them.

The news has since caught national attention.

But after public outrage, the Ghana Education Service (GES) on Saturday instructed the authorities of Achimota School to admit the two first-year
students who reported on campus with dreadlocks.

Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, Director-General of GES, told the Daily Graphic: “We have asked her [headmistress] to admit the students. The
student is a Rastafarian and if there is evidence to show that he is Rastafarian, all that he needs to do is to tie the hair neatly.”

But the GES on Monday, 22 March, backtracked on their earlier directive.
Following the GES directive on March 20, the Service called for a meeting with all the concerned parties and changed its position, this time, siding
with the headmistress of Achimota.

Ras Tetteh Wayo, a lawyer and member of the Rastafari Council, told Joy News: “It was the GES that called for the meeting for the two parties, [that
is], the parents of the students and the Headmistress of Achimota School…and one of the GES’ deputy directors who chaired the meeting was clear
that that was just to quell the media outburst and to bring a bit of calm environment in the country. But the GES will still stand with the Headmistress of Achimota School’s position…...”

Ras Tetteh Wayo further stated that the GES “publication we all saw some few days [ago] was a façade, a fluke”.

“It was just to deceive the citizens of this country to believe that the GES is going to restore peace. So, Ghana should be aware of how the matter has
now unfolded and at this meeting, GES supported the position of Achimota headmistress.

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