Half a dozen schools, including international institutions, have queued up to offer unconditional admission, including full scholarships plus meals to Rastafarian triplets who have been denied admission to some Senior High Schools (SHS) due to their dreadlocks.
This is coming at a time when sisters of one of the boys, who were admitted by St. John’s Grammar School were also asked to cut down their hair at the height of the controversy about whether to be admitted or not.
Tyrone Marguay has been denied admission to the Achimota School over his failure to trim his dreadlocks.
The school authorities have justified the move with claims that it is against the rules of the school to admit students with dreadlocks, thus, if the student must be admitted, he must conform to the rules of the school.
Subsequently, some old students of the St. John’s Grammar School are threatening to cause the withdrawal of two Rastafarian girls who were admitted to the school last week if they fail to cut their dreadlocks.
The two girls, Nikita and Amrita Marhguy, make up triplets with Tyrone Marguay.
In an interview with Joy News’ Manuel Koranteng, father of all three students, Ras Marhguy, said the girls returned from school on Monday with a message that they report with their parents the next day to discuss their hair. This was after they had been allegedly admitted and had started school.
“They came on the 18th [March 2021] to submit all the documents they were asked to bring. But they came with a complaint that the old students wanted me to come and talk about their hair. When we came to submit the [documents], I saw the headmaster and pointed to the girls and told him I wanted to talk about their hair.
“But he said no problem, you should make sure they submit everything and then be in the school and then you can come next week so we talk. So I thought everything was cool until they came with this report yesterday,” he said.
Mr Marguay told Joy News that, when they arrived at the school premises, officials of the old students association asked him to cut his wards’ hair or risk having them removed.
This has generated a public debate, with a section of the public questioning school authorities for the decision, while others are defending the move.
A school of thought believes the decision is discriminatory. Nonetheless, another says school authorities are right since every student must conform to the rules of the schools.
At the height of the controversy, six schools have offered to admit the students unconditionally, with some offering full scholarships plus meals to them.
Explaining the motive behind the gesture, school authorities of one of the schools (name withheld) said: “We do believe that no student should be denied education. We also believe that, yes, students need to learn to obey rules but those rules in any way should not deny students the opportunity to education, which is a basic right for kids.
“So our own rules allow us to admit students that are Rastafarians, perhaps who have dreadlocks [and] we felt that, why not give them the opportunity?
“We also had to discuss the cost [of Education] because we are very much aware that for students that are enrolled in the free SHS, they may not be able to afford International Education.
“It was not just a matter of giving them an alternative, but you also need to look at supporting them cost-wise that’s why we’re reaching out so that we can give them an offer so that their education won’t be curtailed at that age.”