Coalition For Sovereignty Integrity Marks A Year of ‘Rasta Students’ victory Against Achimota School
Monday May 31st marks a year anniversary when the Human Rights Court of Ghana ruled in favour of Tyrone Marghuy and Oheneba Nkrabeah after they were unlawfully denied admission into the prestigious Achimota School in Ghana.
The boys sued the Achimota School Board of Governors, the Minister of Education, Ghana Education Service, and the Attorney General for refusing to enroll them.
The school at the time had said the boys had to cut their dreadlocks, failure of which the school said was at variance with its rules and regulations.
The Human Rights Division of the Accra High Court presided over by Justice Gifty Agyei Addo on May 31, however, ruled that the fundamental human rights of the two students cannot be limited by the rules of the school.
The judge held the view that Achimota School and proponents, including GES and the Attorney General failed to justify why the two students should not be admitted.
She premised her position on the fundamental human rights guaranteed under the Constitution of Ghana, 1992, especially the boys’ rights to education and their rights to express their religious freedom.
A statement issued by the Coalition for Sovereignty, Integrity and Justice, celebrating the one year anniversary of the court ruling on Monday May 30, said “We recollect the pain out of the discrimination and breach of their human rights when the school felt that their dreadlock was in violation of school rules although the Constitution of Ghana abhors all forms of discrimination, in this case their right to education and right to practice their culture and religion"
“The ruling served as a good example in enforcing the laws of Ghana and has awakened many Africans, especially marginalised groups like the Rastafarian community, about their rights and freedoms enshrined in the 1992 Constitution of Ghana"
It now also serves as a precedence for educational institutions not to repeat the unfortunate decision of the authorities of Achimota School.
“A year down the road we wouldn’t want to hear any maltreatment or discrimination of Rastafarians, and as members of the progressive community we expect that marginalised groups would seek more of legal education about their rights, freedoms and obligations under the law.
“Education is a fundamental human right and we strongly hope that all parents and the State would ensure that every school going aged person would have the opportunity to achieve his or her life dreams through formal education"
“Although, our educational system in Africa is yet to meet the standards of Europe, China and US, it is our expectation that greater investment in education and life long learning would present the African Youth in a liberated position to control and manage the continent’s resources for the betterment of the people"
“We cherish the desire to free ourselves from all forms of exploitation and dehumanising conditions and that African leaders have the larger role to play to ensure that it’s youth are given utmost attention and care in order to prepare for the future. While we recognise everybody who helped in this legal case, we would like to specially thank the legal team, the Rastafarian community, Her Ladyship Justice Gifty Adjei Addo for her legal principled position and all the like-minded organisations that mobilised resources to fight the case"
“It is our quest to see that the social and economic imbalances that usher the disparities in access to opportunities and wealth-making every where across the world are seen as the challenges that ought to be resolved in this decade and to make our youth part of this struggle of changing the conditions that breed such social and economic imbalances.”
Story by: Laud Nartey