Rastafarian Tyrone Iras Marhguy on Achimota School campus

A housemaster of a Senior High School has intimated that the academic performance of students is not determined by their hairstyles.

He was contributing to discussions on Joy FM’s Ghana Connect. The discussion focused on whether the court ruling that compelled Achimota School to admit Rastafarian boys would have any effect on teaching and learning in the School.

The housemaster, who was referred to on the Show as Seth, added that, “The appearance of a student does not necessarily lead to how successful or not he will be in his academic pursuit. So when I heard the verdict that the boys with the dreadlocks should go back to school, I was happy because they are also Ghanaians. They have to be taught”.

His comment follows Achimota School’s decision to finally admit two young boys with dreadlocks; Tyrone Marhguy and Oheneba Nkrabea after a court ruling.

The General Secretary for the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), Julius Kwame Anthony, who was part of the discussion, also opined that the whole debate on students having to shave their hair is uncalled for. He contended that most countries outside Ghana which have paid no attention to how long or short a student’s hair is, are performing better than Ghana.

“The performance of students in schools has absolutely nothing to do with the hair they wear, how long or short it is. Caucasians, Asians and all other races have demonstrated that to us that the length of someone’s hair does not matter. One point people are not understanding and I keep making is that the black man’s hair is actually dreadlocks when we all leave our hair to grow long just as Caucasians and Asians do, it will be very long and it will be dreadlocks, I was with Tyrone Marghuy two days ago, I saw his hair, I touched it, it is natural hair, it is what grows under his hair naturally”.

Meanwhile, Mr Anthony has advised people with the perception that when students with dreadlocks are admitted to schools they will negatively affect other students to desist from such assertions.

“I heard someone say that they won’t suffer and train them and send them to school and then that work is undone. How does the admission of one Rastafarian boy or 2 Rastafarian boys into Achimota School undo the moral standards we have taught 1,000 other students who are not Rastafarian? How does that do that?” he quizzed.

Field Producer for CNN, Christopher Lett on his part described Achimota School’s disposition towards Rastafarianism as stemming from inability to break away from colonial mentality.

The Producer added that many schools in Ghana, including Achimota School, are still enforcing laws that have outlived their relevance.

“A lot of schools including Achimota–I know that there is a lot of respect, a lot of people like to shout out this SHS in Ghana but you have to understand the origin of these institutions. I guarantee you the hair is not the issue that matters.

“Look at the root of the situation, not just the root of our hair. The root of the situation is the way we are told to fit in and have standards and have morals, we have to look at the context. A lot of them come from the colonies of Britain and beyond,” he said.