Father of Rastafarian student, Ras Asward Nkrabea, says his son, Oheneba Kwaku Nkrabea, has been scarred and traumatised after being denied admission to study at Achimota School.
Although master Nkrabea and another Rastafarian student were posted through the Computerised School Placement System, they were unable to enrol into the Senior High School because of their dreadlocks.
Following this, his father revealed in an interview with JoyNews that his son is presently receiving treatment at a psychological institution in dealing with the ordeal.
“There have been damages because the boy went through a whole lot of trauma. We had to take the child to a psychiatric hospital because of the fact that he was traumatised by the whole issue,” he told Manuel Koranteng.
According to him, the wavering stance of the Ghana Education Service (GES) on his ward’s enrolment has contributed to his child’s trauma.
“One would ask the question, why would a so-called reputable and respectable institution say one thing, and in the next moment do something else? To me, I find that very hypocritical and it means that their arms have been twisted for them to come out with that position.
“You say something on Saturday and then you change your position on Monday without explaining to the public why you are changing your position. So to me, it doesn’t make much sense to me,” he stated.
In an earlier directive by the GES, Director-General Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa said the authorities of Achimota School cannot refuse to admit the two students.
“You cannot say that you will not admit someone on the basis of the person’s religious belief and so we have asked the head to allow the children to be in school,” he explained.
However, after a recent meeting with the GES and the Achimota School authorities, Mr Nkrabea revealed that the GES backtracked on its earlier decision and refused to enrol the two Rastafarian students.
“Because when I was in the meeting, it seemed that they were bowing to the Headmistress as if to say the school is superior to the constitution. The GES is there to work for the people and not for the leaders of the school. In that meeting there was condescending behaviour from those there.
“They scorn dreadlocks, they scorn the African culture and they scorn Rastafarians. Their attitude was like ‘you are nothing so we can tell you and do anything we feel like doing and that was their approach’,” he narrated.
He also indicated that the only alternative provided by the school for the two students to be admitted was for the wards’ dreadlocks to be cut off.
“In that meeting, they claimed that the only way they will be accepted in the school is to cut the child’s deadlocks and we said no. Why should I do that when the constitution has given me the right? It has given the child the right to his religion and to have his culture,” he stated.
Meanwhile, lawyer for the Rastafari Council, George Tetteh Wayo, said the Council is looking to enrol the boys in another school.
“The kids will still go to other schools, we know other schools will still admit them. The young man, who had six (Aggregate 6), is part of a triplet, his two sisters have gotten admission at St. John’s Grammar,” the legal practitioner said.