Achimota School

The Executive Director of Africa Education Watch (AEW), Kofi Asare, has called for the dissolution of Achimota School’s Board of Governors for demonstrating what he describes as impunity and disrespect for lawful authority.

According to him, the Ghana Education Service and by extension, the Ministry of Education are unaware of the Board’s unilateral decision to appeal a court ruling ordering it to admit the two Rastafarian students it had refused admission.

Mr. Asare believed the action taken by Achimota School’s Board sets a bad precedence in the management of senior cycle education in Ghana and the earlier the sector ministry stamped its authority, the better.

Speaking to Ayisha Ibrahim on JoyNews’ PM Express, Mr Asare said Achimota School failed to prove to the world that it is built on the foundation of inclusion by embracing the court ruling.

“The information I have is that government is not aware and is not part of that decision the School Board has taken. Even the Attorney-General who represented them in court is not aware and that is why I am actually surprised that the Ministry of Education is not aware of this, Attorney-General does not know of this and the School’s Board goes unilaterally and takes this decision.”

“I honestly do not understand why the Ministry of Education has not dissolved the Board of Achimota School. Because the impunity and the disrespect for lawful authority which is being manifested by Achimota School Board is a bad example for discipline and the governance of senior high schools in Ghana. If every other school’s Governing Board behaves like this, do you think our secondary education system can be governable? Certainly not,” the Educationist said.

The Governing Board of the Achimota School announced its decision to appeal the ruling by the Human Right Division of the Accra High Court, ordering it to admit the two Rastafarian students.

The Board disagrees with the ruling saying, “we disagree with the ruling. We have asked our Lawyers to appeal the decision”

But the Executive Director of AEW accused Achimota School’s Board of serving its parochial interest by engaging in unnecessary litigation which is tainting the image and reputation of the institution.

“The Ghana Education Service Act (Act 506), mandates GES as the only agency responsible for delivering and coordinating secondary education in Ghana and not Achimota School. No senior high school is mentioned in this law.

It is only the Ghana Education Service and by extension, the Ministry of Education. No school can act in a manner that contradicts government policy and also contradicts the constitution of Ghana and Achimota is not an exception. If we allow this lawlessness to continue, I’m saying that tomorrow it will be Gambaga SHS, the next day it will be Benkum SHS etc. Then all the over 600 schools would have rendered our education system totally ungovernable,” Mr. Asare argued.

The Educationist indicated that School Boards are not supposed to act contrary to government directives and Achimota School must not be allowed to deviate from the norm.

He further urged the Ministry of Education to make a strong pronouncement on the matter and to prevent a situation that will make senior high schools ungovernable.