The Human Rights Division of the High Court is today, Monday, May 31, 2021, expected to give judgment in the case of two Rastafarian boys who were denied admission into Achimota School based on their dreadlocks.
The incident triggered a public discourse on the need for a national guideline for senior high schools, and eventually ended up in the court after the two students filed their cases individually.
Dreadlock-wearing Nana Kwaku Nkrabea and Tyron Marhguy, were both denied admission into Achimota School though they had qualified and were duly placed there through the computerized school selection and placement system.
The School however disputed the claim arguing that the students never returned their forms which had their acceptance of admission.
Watchers of the education space are confident that today’s judgment will put the matter to rest and shape policy going forward.
The two students sued the school because they were denied admission for refusing to cut their dreadlocks as directed by the school.
In his suit, lawyers of Marghguy for instance argued that their client’s rights were being violated by the school’s actions.
They want the court to declare that denying the student, Tyrone Iras Marhguy, admission because he keeps dreadlocks is “a violation of his right to education guaranteed under Articles 25(1)(b), 28(4) of the 1992 Constitution.”
They also argued that denying him admission is a “violation of his [Tyrone Iras Marhguy’s] right to dignity”.
They also want “an order directed at [Achimota School] to immediately admit or enroll the applicant to continue with his education unhindered.”
In addition, Marhguy’s lawyers also want compensation for the “inconvenience, embarrassment, waste of time, and violation of his fundamental human rights and freedoms”.
Tyrone Marhguy was denied admission at the school alongside another Rastafarian student, Oheneba Kwaku Nkrabea.
The saga has been ongoing since March 19, 2021, during which the two students have not been able to start academic work with their colleagues.
They were placed at the school through the Computerized School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) having satisfied the entry requirement by creditably passing their Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
Tyrone Iras Marhguy’s results were attached to the lawsuit to emphasize his academic competence.
The school had asked the parents to cut off their wards’ hair or find another school for them.
Though the Ghana Education Student initially directed Achimota School to admit the students, it backtracked after pushback from the school’s stakeholders and further engagements.
In defence of the school’s decision, the Achimota School PTA said its revised rules and regulations from August 2020 indicate that students must keep their hair low, simple and natural.