Rastafarian case: Nana Akomea sides with Achimota school in High Court ruling

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State Transport Corporation CEO, Nana Akomea, has cast fears over the High Court ruling that some Rastafarian students should be admitted into the Achimota school.

The students, who were initially refused enrollment for refusing to shave their dreadlocks, sued the school praying the Human Rights Division of the High Court to “declare that the failure and or refusal of the 1st Respondent (Achimota School Board of Governors) to admit or enroll the Applicant on the basis of his Rastafarian religious inclination, beliefs and culture characterized by his keeping of Rasta, is a violation of his fundamental human rights and freedoms guaranteed under the 1992 constitution”.

They also asked the court for an “order directed at [Achimota School] to immediately admit or enroll the applicant to continue with his education unhindered”.

The court, after hearing the case, ruled that Achimota School must admit the students with their dreadlocks.

[Admit Rastafarian students with immediate effect – High Court to Achimota School]

But Nana Akomea has opposed the court ruling saying the verdict has opened the floodgates for students to flout the rules of their schools.

He feared a bad precedent might have been set by the court explaining the court order is giving opportunity for students to wear or behave anyhow they want to, particularly when it goes against the school rules and regulations.

[Rastafarians threaten legal action following ‘unfair treatment’ of member at Sunyani Municipal Hospital]

“The regulations are important to ensure that we exercise our rights without any conflict. Today, we say if you have dreadlocks, it doesn’t affect your academic work. If you wear trousers or shorts, does it affect your academic work? If I’m a boy and I go to Achimota school but decides to wear skirt, does it affect my academic work?”, he queried.

He added, “If you say it’s your religion, everybody can say I won’t obey the rules because it’s my religion. I can say I’m a Form Three student and I want to wear trousers because it’s my religion . . . today, it’s hair, tomorrow it will be hat or uniform. Tomorrow, someone will say I won’t wear shoes because my religion doesn’t permit me to wear shoes. Yeah, open the floodgate! . . . This is the problem we’re faced with. That is why I think this matter should really be appealed.”

Nana Akomea called on the Achimota school to appeal the case and hoped the Court of Appeal will overturn the High Court decision.

Source: Peacefm