May 12, 2021

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Achimota Rasta Saga: Dreadlocks don’t affect the brain – Knii Lante to alma mater

Two of the affacted students have dragged the school to court

Old Student of Achimota School, Nii Lante Okunka Blankson, professionally known as Knii Lante has waded into the Achimota SHS dreadlocks standoff between Rastafarian students and the school.

According to him, dreadlocks doesn’t have anything to do with the brain or one’s ability to perform as a student.

“ I didn’t think it was right to refuse an entry. But then I always like to look at the other side of the coin so that I can also appreciate what my opponent is saying. Supposing I’m a headmaster of a school, would I like it if everybody comes to school with a different kind of appearance; very soon somebody will say then we shouldn’t wear school uniform.

“Some peaople may take the situation and read a whole different meaning into it;so maybe that is the reasons why the managers of the school wouldn’t allow this to happen,” he told Doctar Cann on Happy FM’s Showbiz Xtra.

The medical doctor and Afro pop musician who has dreadlocks added that, “As a manger of a system, if you want to put in a certain rule it must be done across board and fairly.

But this same Achimota I have seen pictures of Caucasian students who have long hair and they are allowed. So there is a contradiction in the system it makes it look as if you are discriminating against the rastas.”

The Achimota School had some months ago denied two Rastafarians admission to the school, although they had been placed there by the Ghana Education Service’s Computerized School Selection and Placement Service (CSSPS).

The school insisted that its regulation states that all students or potential students maintain a low haircut as a requirement for admission.

It, therefore, said the two Rastafarians must cut their dreadlocks if they want to be granted admission. The two students insisted and were consequently denied admission.

The Ghana Education Service (GES) subsequently ordered Achimota School to admit the students, but it made a u-turn on its stance.

One of the Rastafarians who went to seek admission at his second choice of school, Saint John’s Grammar School was again refused admission there because of his dreadlocks.

Following calls for legal processes one of the students Tyron Marhguy sued Achimota School.

Oheneba Kwaku Nkrabea, one of the two Rastafarian students at the centre of the Achimota School admission brouhaha also sued the school over his rejection.

Per copies of the court documents sighted by happyghana.com , Oheneba Kwaku Nkrabea being a minor, is suing through his next friend, Marvin Palmer and directed at the Board of Governors of Achimota School, the Ghana Education Service, Ministry of Education and the Attorney General.

He is praying the Human Rights Division of the High Court to compel Achimota School to admit him into the school for the purposes of his education.

He is also asking the court to stop the school from ever discriminating against him on the basis of his religion and or creed.

Oheneba Kwaku Nkrabea prayed to the court to among other things make “A declaration that requiring Oheneba Kwaku Nkrabea a child and adherent of the Rastafari religion and creed, to either cut his hair or forfeit admission into Achimota School, a public senior high school, is a violation of his rights to dignity…contrary to articles 15 and 28(3) of the Constitution, 1992 and section 13 of the Children’s Act 1998 (Act 560)”.

“A declaration that requiring Oheneba Kwaku Nkrabea a child and adherent of the Rastafari religion and creed, to either cut his hair or forfeit admission into Achimota School, a public senior high school, without first providing him an opportunity to be heard, is a violation of his right to due process and natural justice.”

“An order directed at the respondent’s herein to permit Oheneba Kwaku Nkrabea a child and adherent of the Rastafari religion and creed, to enter Achimota School for the purpose of completing registration formalities and to begin academic work; and an order of perpetual injunction directed at the respondent’s herein either by themselves, their agents or assigns restraining them from further violating the rights of Oheneba Kwaku Nkrabea a child and adherent of the Rastafari religion and creed.”

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