The Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram says it is unlawful for the authorities at Achimota School to deny enrolment to some two Rastafarian students.
Mr Sam Nartey George in his submission on the Floor on the House indicated that article 17 (2) of the 1992 Constitution stands against discrimination of any sort, as such the Achimota School must submit to the dictates of the law and enrol the two students with dreadlocks.
“Mr Speaker, the Constitution in Article 17 (2) is clear that nobody shall be discriminated on any grounds. Why is he carrying dreadlocks? Is it a fashion statement or is as a result of a religious belief? Our understanding is that it is a result of a religious belief.
“Are we then going to say that the rules and regulations of Achimota School supersede the 1992 constitution? We cannot accept this Mr Speaker,” he stated.
His concerns follow the decision by the administrator of the Achimota School and the Ghana Education Service who have refused to enrol the two students – Tyron Marghuy and Oheneba Kwaku Nkrabea – because of their dreadlocks.
Citing media reports, he stated that these students have ascribed to the Rastafarian religion and have debunked claims of wearing dreadlocks to make a fashion statement, hence finds no reason for the school’s unwavering decision.
He, therefore, accused the administrators of Achimota School of being discriminatory as they have in past years accepted white students with long hair but presently fails to enrol Ghanaian students with dreadlocks.
“It is this kind of discrimination and I call it discrimination because the same Achimota School has Caucasian white girls carrying long hair which is against the rules and regulations of Achimota school. So we need to ask ourselves ‘is it because this young man is a Ghanaian whose father or mother may not be ‘somebody’ in our society?
“Is that why he is being treated that way? Whiles in that same school, you have foreign students, non Ghanaians, Caucasians also carrying long hair in the same school. So where were Achimota’s rules and regulations when the foreign students were allowed to carry long hair?” he quizzed.
According to Sam George, it came as a surprise to him when he heard that the students had been rejected on account of their hair as it has no bearing on their contribution to society.
“Mr Speaker, the question we should ask ourselves is ‘are we more interested as a country about the knowledge we impart into young men and women who will form the next generation of leaders or are we interested in what they carry on their heads. Mr Speaker is there any scientific proof to show carrying your hair low is correspondent to being a responsible citizen.
“…listening to one of the students in question, it is shocking that any school would want to deprive such an intelligent young man of the opportunity to further his education,” he further stated.
The Ningo-Prampram MP, in conclusion, suggested that the debate on the subject be expanded to enable the nation reconsider some of the “colonial thinking and mentality” imposed on Ghanaians in other sectors of the country.
“The Headmistress herself is wearing an artificial wig but we think that it is wrong for someone to carry dreadlocks. So Mr Speaker, it must ignite a new and larger debate in this country. We are stuck in our colonial thinking and mentality that is why you still have respectfully, our judges of the supreme court and lawyers having to appear wearing horse wigs which are a relic of the colonial past,” he stated.
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