Foreign students on exchange programmes at Achimota School are exempted from hair rule , says PTA

Dr Andre Kwasi-Kumah, Chairman of the Parents Teachers Association of Achimota School has clarified that schools relaxes its rule on hairstyle for foreign students on exchange programme.

His comments is coming on the back of the reaction of Ghanaians after pictures of some foreign students in Achimota uniform with different hairstyles went viral on social media after denying two Rastafarian students’ admission.

Speaking to Blakk Rasta on Zylofon Fm on Tuesday. the chairman of the PTA of Achimota school said the rules pertaining hairstyle does not apply to foreign students on short visit or exchange programme at the school.

“The rule that applies to student who come on exchange maybe different for the students who are in permanently, that happens everywhere., I have gone on an exchange when I was at the University to England,”

“And I wasn’t following the same rules as the regular students were following, I mean I took my own style of dressing to Ghana and went, son exchange students may not be necessary treated as permanent students and that is not discrimination at all”

He asserted that the exchange student come for just academic purpose and return to their country within a short interval hence the decision.

Dr Andre Kumah dispelled assertions that the school is giving foreign students special treatment whiles discriminating against the three dreadlock students.

“Whether you are Caucasian, African or Rastafarian, you have to follow the rule” he said.

Achimota is a no go area for Rastafarians

The Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of Achimota School has backed a decision by the headmistress to disallow three first-year Rastafarian students with dreadlocks from attending class sessions until they cut their hair.

It follows the school’s decision to defy an earlier directive of the Ghana Education Service (GES) to admit the students after the story went viral on social media.

A statement issued by the PTA Chairman Dr Andre Kwasi-Kumah said the age-long rule cannot be changed since failure to adhere to the rules will open the floodgate for all types of hairstyles thereby breeding indiscipline at the school.

“The Achimota PTA executive unreservedly and unequivocally supports the school’s decision to enforce its rules with respect to the admission of three students with dreadlocks hairstyle,” the statement said.

The rules of Achimota School

It added: “According to the school’s revised rules and regulations (August 2020), section H (General Appearance) item 3 states “students must keep their hair low, simple and natural. (Student’s hair should not go through any chemical process.) The scalp must not show.

“This old age rule has prevented unnecessary attention and time wasting with non-school hairdos.  Any exception to this rule on religious grounds would open the floodgates for all types of hairstyles and breed indiscipline.”

The PTA said it welcomes parents who are willing to adhere to the rules and regulations of the Achimota School.

It says the 1992 Constitution is on the side of the school.

Below is the full statement:

Parents threaten legal action

Ras Aswad Nkrabeah, one of the parents at the centre of the Achimota Rastafarian saga, has served notice of suing the school for discriminating against Rastafarian children with dreadlocks.

Speaking on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Tuesday 23 March 2021, he said it is a class action being taken by concerned parents to address their grievances.

Nkrabeah also disclosed that he is on the verge of securing admission for his 16-year-old son at a new school after the Achimota School defied a Ghana Education Service (GES) directive to admit two Rastafarian students.

According to him, the school discriminated against them based on their faith and culture.

Class action

“It is a class action lawsuit involving other parents on the basis of discrimination on faith and culture,” Nkrabeah said.

He added: “When I went to a meeting yesterday (Monday), the headmistress gave herself away by saying it wasn’t two,  …I didn’t know it was three students. So now I am realising that it is something they do and they do it with pleasure.

“When I went to the office you know what the assistant principal told me, he said last year we turned away a few of them and they took us to court and we won. So if you want to take it to court, go ahead and do that, and he said this is not the first and won’t be the last, this is what he told me.”

He further questioned why authorities of the school allows white children with different hairstyles and not those with dreadlocks.

“Why did they allow the white people with their long hair in schools at Achimota School and the black people they are prejudicing against their own Ghanaians,” Nkrabeah said.

Background 

The GES over the weekend instructed authorities of the Achimota School to admit two first-year students who reported on campus with dreadlocks.

It follows massive debate on social media after reports that the school had refused to admit the children although they gained admission.

Reports suggest the school authorities had claimed it is against the rules of the school for students to have dreadlocks.

Fred Dzakpata

Gh Extractives

Ghextractives.com is an independent multimedia portal that seeks to provide credible information and news content to readers especially players in the extractive sector in Ghana, Africa and beyond. It also provides a unique platform for players in the energy sector to market their products and reach a wider audience

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