Opinion: Dreads, Grades and Rights

The issue of these Rastafarian kids becoming negative influence on their mates in school is neither here nor there. If precedent is anything to go by, the kids were coming from the basic school.
These basic schools, either public or private also have rules and regulations, just like Achimota school, which is equally under the management of GES.

As I thought of the matter and all its back and forth from various quarters, these questions kept lingering on in my mind;

  1. Were the kids ever asked to cut their dreads or denied access because of same at any level in their educational journey before now?
  2. I understand they had distinctions, what impact or influence (negative or positive) had their dreads and grades made in the lives of their former school mates?
  3. If their presence in Achimota school is going to be detrimental to other kids and open the floodgates for other sects of people to also claim their right to combine faith and education in our schools, why didn’t that happen when they were in the basic school?
  4. Let us assume these Rastafarians students were rather of Caucasian origin. Would they have been denied entry into the school just because of their long silky hair?

I understand clearly the position of the Ghana Education Service-GES, where they have outlawed all forms of corporal punishment in our schools, especially at the basic school level. They even through institutions such as CHRAG went from school to school to orient and urged the students to report any teacher who may use the rod of correction on them either justifiably or otherwise.
This is to ensure no form of corporal punishment becomes a hindrance to a student in accessing the basic right to be in school and to acquire the education they deserve. That way, teachers have been strongly warned to desist from dishing out any form of corporal punishment. An action strongly backed by the teacher unions, where they warned that, if a teacher wants to save his or her job, then that teacher must stay away from the use of the cane.

It is therefore unfathomable, the position being taken by the NAGRAT on an issue that borders on the rights of the same students. Those whose right to education they have heavily protected and continue to protect at the basic school level.

On the other hand, I believe the GES is actually showing consistency by asking for the “dreadlockans” to be admitted to the Achimota school- a school of their choice.
I do not see where the teacher in that school would be put in harm’s way by their presence as being insinuated. After all the kids are brilliant students which in effect means they are from some responsible background.

Written by: Godwin Akakpo-Ashiadey

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