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GES backtracked on directive for dreadlocked students to be admitted

A lawyer with the Rastafari Council, Ras Tetteh Wayo has said the Ghana Education Service (GES) has made a U-turn on its initial directive for two dreadlocked students to be admitted by Achimota School.

Mr. Wayo, who is the lawyer of the students’ parents, said this came to the fore at a meeting between his clients, the Ghana Education Service and Achimota School.

The dreadlocked students were turned home by authorities of Achimota School last Thursday.

The authorities had insisted that the parents of the students either cut off their hair or find another school for their kids.

The GES, after public outrage, directed the school to admit the two first-year students in spite of their dreadlocks but has since seemingly reversed this decision.

The lawyer on Eyewitness News intimated that the GES’ initial decision was not necessarily to serve the interests of the dreadlocked students, but rather, to water down criticisms against the school.

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“At the end of the meeting, when I called him [one of the parents], the first response was that the GES made a U-turn in respect of the publication we saw a few days ago. The publication was to quell public outcry. The Achimota school headmistress also said they stand by their position that the kids can only come in if they have taken off the dreadlocks. The GES supported the position of the school.”

Those against admitting the students include the President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Angel Carbonu, who argued that the school environment will not be conducive for teaching and learning if all students are allowed to freely and fully practice all their beliefs.

Mr. Wayo however insisted Mr. Carbonu’s argument is flawed.

“He is mixing morality and law. If Carbonu is saying there are so many religious denominations in Ghana and they cannot admit all of them on campus because they will all come and profess their religion that is morality. In any case he is not right because no one basically practices their religion in school. This Rastafarian kid will not go and practice his religion in school.”

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—citinewsroom