The Managing Director of the Intercity STC Coaches Limited, Nana Akomea has shot down arguments about whether or not Rastafarians should be allowed to spot their dreadlocks in Ghana’s Senior High Schools (SHS).
There are ongoing arguments for and against students with dreadlocks going to Senior High Schools and these arguments have arisen due to Achimota School’s refusal to admit two Rasta students.
The school authorities stood their ground in asking the students to cut their dreadlocks before they would be enrolled.
At a meeting with the management of the Ghana Education Service (GES), the headmistress of the school, Mrs. Majorie Affenyi, and the parents of one of the students in Accra on Monday, the headmistress maintained that the students had not been denied admission to the school but rather the decision was for them to cut their dreadlocks to conform to the rules of the school.
The father of the student, Mr. Ras Aswad Nkrabea, who sat in the meeting, told the Daily Graphic that the headmistress insisted the school would not bend its rules with respect to admission.
“The GES and the headmistress of the Achimota School came together and said my son cuts his hair. That is the position both of them took,” Ras Nkrabea said.
He further told Daily Graphic that his next decision is to “take it to court and there’s no question about that. We are trying to find another school now for him”.
Discussing the brouhaha between the Achimota school and parents of the students, Nana Akomea noted that arguments that the action taken by the Achimota school authorities is an infringement on the students’ freedom of religion are neither here nor there.
Speaking to host Kwami Sefa Kayi on Peace FM’s ”Kokrokoo”, he stated emphatically that Ghana doesn’t recognize the Rasta religion.
He believed if the students were Muslims, they would have been enrolled into the Achimota school or any public school in the country without facing rejection.
“That religion called Rasta is not recognized in Ghana . . . What has happened wouldn’t have happened if we recognized it. If the child who was admitted into Achimota school was wearing a hijab, won’t he have been accepted? He would have been accepted because we recognize that religion. There wouldn’t have been any problem if he had a hijab on”, he said, also stressing that “we have freedom of religion, freedom of worship but you know the rights that the constitution gives, there have to be rules to exercise that right. We have the right to vote but you must go through a procedure. You must go through rules . . .”
Rastafarianism is a religion that reportedly developed in Jamaica during the 1930s and Rastas believe in Haile Selassie, the Emperor of Ethiopia between 1930 and 1974, as their religious icon.
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