The President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Mr Angel Carbonu, has wondered why Rastafarians do not have their own school by now so as to avoid the situation where their religious rights and freedoms always clash with the rules and regulations of the existing schools that their children attend.
"I don't even know why the Rastafarians don't have their own schools because they've been in this country for a very long time," Mr Angel Carbonou said at a press conference on Monday, 22 March 2021 at which the group voiced out its opposition to an earlier directive of the Ghana Education Service to the management of Achimota SHS to admit two fresh students with dreadlocks.
“We expect that if you want to be in that school, you obey the rules and regulations. The rules and regulations of an institution are not chosen and picked by individuals, they become standard and ought to be obeyed by anyone who wants to access the school,” Mr Carbonu said.
Meanwhile, the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of the school has said it “unreservedly and unequivocally supports the school's decision” to deny some dreadlock-wearing students admission because their hairstyle contravenes the school’s rules and regulations.
A statement signed by the PTA Chairman, Dr Andre Kwasi-Kumah, indicated that “according to the school's revised rules and regulations (August 2020), section H (General Appearance), item 3 states: ‘Students must keep their hair low, simple and natural. (Students' hair should not go through any chemical process). The scalp must not show’".
The statement continued: “This age-old rule has prevented unnecessary attention and time-wasting with 'non-school' hairdos. Any exceptions to the rule on religious grounds would open the floodgates for all types of hairstyles and breed indiscipline”.
Furthermore, the PTA said: “We believe Article 14(1)(e) of the 1992 constitution of Ghana which states: ‘Every person shall be entitled to his personal liberty and no person shall be deprived of his personal liberty except in the following cases and in accordance with procedure permitted by law - (e) for the purpose of the education or welfare of a person who has not attained the age of eighteen years’, gives the school the right to set such rules in furtherance of education."
The PTA noted: “We, therefore, stand with the headmistress and welcome into our fold, parents who are ready to abide by the rules and regulations of Achimota School".