It appears the saga involving one of Ghana's prestigious Senior High educational facilities, Achimota School, and two embattled teenagers, Tyron Iras Marhguy and Oheneba Kwaku Nkrabea, who have been denied admission for spotting dreadlocks, albeit for religious purposes; is not ending anytime soon.
This is because, Peacefmonline.com can confirm that the Governing Board of Achimota School is unhappy with the recent outcome of suit initiated on behalf of the students and has thus asked their lawyers to appeal the ruling of the Human Rights Division of the Accra High Court's order to admit the Rastafarian students.
A statement intercepted by Peacefmonline.com states "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."
In March this year, Achimota School issued admission letters to the two students but indicated that they would only be enrolled on the condition that they shave their dreadlocks in accordance with the School’s academic regulations.
Clearly unenthused, Tyron and Oheneba sued the School’s Board of Governors, the Minister of Education, the Ghana Education Service, and the Attorney General to enforce their fundamental Human Rights.
The applicants asked the court to “declare that the failure and or refusal of the 1st Respondent (Achimota School Board of Governors) to admit or enrol 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)”.
On Monday, May 31, 2021, the Human Rights Division of the High Court presided over by Justice Gifty Agyei Addo, ruled that the fundamental human rights of two students cannot be limited by the rules in question.
Justice Gifty Adjei Addo disagreed with the submissions of the Attorney General and granted all the reliefs separately sought by the embattled students except the relief of compensation in the case of Tyrone Marhguy.
According to Justice Addo, it is preposterous for the Attorney General to have even suggested that the two were not students in the first place.
Justice Gifty Adjei Addo consequently directed Achimota School to admit the two Rastafarian students.
Following what most Ghanaians consider as a landmark ruling, there have been varied reactions to the news.
While some have hailed the verdict as a ''major victory for the Rastafarian community'', since the students were not keeping dreadlocks as a lifestyle but for religious purposes, and for that matter cannot be the basis for Achimota Secondary School to deny them admission into the school.
But others contend the decision will "open the floodgates for students to flout" the rules of their schools.
For now, it remains to be seen if Achimota School will go ahead with the appeal, and when it will be filed. Our fingers remain crossed.
Source: Isaac Kwame Owusu/Peacefmonline.com/[email protected]
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