Ranking Member on the Education Committee of Parliament Dr. Clement Apaak has described the decision by parents of the two Rastafarians who have been denied admissions into Achimota School because of the dreadlocks to seek legal redress as the best.
The MP for Builsa South says the court would be the last option for the affected students since there is a blend of abuse of their fundamental rights to the freedom of religion and access to education.
Reacting to the brouhaha, the former presidential staffer and senior lecturer at the University of Ghana said the right to education vis-a-vis the rights to profess once religion has been abused.
He quizzed, “which one takes precedence and under what conditions should one take precedence over the other?”
He said the two are all rights available and that is why going to court was the best option for the victims involved.
The Ghana Education Service (GES) has backtracked on its initial directive that instructed the Achimota Senior High School to accept 2 students with dreadlocks.
This came after a meeting between the school, GES, and the parents of the two Rastafarians.
But Dr. Apaak has indicated that going to court would help give an interpretation to the matter and resolve it once and for all.
When asked if he would confront the Education Minister on the matter should he appear before the House this week over the issues surrounding the bigotry textbooks saga, he said the Education Minister would side with the Ghana Education Service who have backtracked on their earlier directive to Achimota School to admit the students.
“I doubt if he would have a lot say on this. My own guess is that he probably would stand with the decision by the school. The decision is not to reject the fact that these students qualify and have gained admission. I think the decision by the school is that they have a code, they have rules and regulations, and those rules and regulations mandate one must not be able to take his or her place as a student in that institution although qualified with that type of hairstyle. So, my guess is that the Minister will agree with what the school has said.
I say so because of the backtracking that has been associated with the GES. The understanding many members of the public got was that the GES had directed Achimota to allow the students to take up their rightful places and to commence their academic work. But now we hear that the GES has since withdrawn that directive. If the GES is under the Ministry of Education, then it presupposes that the Education Minister would also dance according to the rhythm that the GES is dancing to.”