Court orders Achimota School to admit Rastafarian students

Achimota School has been ordered by an Accra High Court to admit the two Rastafarian students it denied admission.

In March this year, Achimota School issued admission letters to the two students on the condition that they would only be enrolled if they cut their dreadlocks in accordance with the School’s academic regulations .

The Human Rights Division of the High Court presided over by Justice Gifty Agyei Addo, has however ruled that the fundamental human rights of two students cannot be limited by the rules in question.

The students, Tyron Iras Marhguy and Oheneba Kwaku Nkrabea sued the School’s Board of Governors, the Minister of Education, Ghana Education Service and the Attorney General to enforce their Fundamental Human Rights.

They prayed the 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 particularly Articles 12(1), 23, 21(1)(b)(c)”.

The two students again wanted “an order directed at [Achimota School] to immediately admit or enrol the applicant to continue with his education unhindered.”

Their application also included a compensation for the “inconvenience, embarrassment, waste of time, and violation of his fundamental human rights and freedoms”.

In her ruling, Justice Gifty Agyei Addo argued that, with regard to the evidence that were adduced before the court, she did not think the defendants [Achimota School, GES and the AG’s Department], were able to make a compelling argument about why the two students should not be admitted.

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