Rastafarian saga: GES directive to Achimota School weak, says PNC

Mark Ewusi Arko and other panellists believe the Ghana Education Service (GES) erred in ordering Achimota School to admit two students with dreadlocks

National Youth Organiser of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Mark Ewusi Arko, has faulted the directive of the Ghana Education Service (GES) to Achimota School to admit two dreadlock students  who were initially rejected over their hairstyle.

Speaking on The Asaase Breakfast Show with Wilberforce Asare, Arko described the move by GES as one of the weakest decisions so far in the educational system.

“I think the directive by the GES is one of the weakest decisions so far as far as our educational system is concerned. We have Achimota School that has its own records and its record cannot be disputed,” he said.

He added: “It is a school that used to have rich people who had their children there, and its motto was equality for all. So if you have rich men with their kids there and the poor class with their kids there, will the rich decide to give their wards whatever they want, the school is being guided by principles.”

Arko believes the GES should focus on its priorities.

Rescind decision

Dr Richard Fiadomor, president of the Chamber for Local Governance who also spoke on the ABS said the GES must rescind its decision.

He believes the intervention by the GES will open the floodgates for others with varied concerns to break the code and ethics of the school.

“Apart from this dreadlock that these boys are wearing when you go to secondary schools, the ladies are not allowed to even do their hair, the boys are also not allowed to put on a certain hairstyle in the school,” Dr Fiamordor  said.

He added: “So for me if the Ghana Education Service is coming out this way then I think the Pandora’s Box has been opened and now you have people going to school with all kinds of hairstyles and then we do not have any morale basis to comment on it.”

He asked the GES to review its decision.

“I do not think that this boy’s admission was turned down because he was a Rastafarian, but if the school does not have rooms for dreadlocks, then obviously this boy in question would have to remove the dreadlock, and go back to school,” he said.

“But the way the whole thing is being done as if it was against Rastafarianism or whatever religion they call it. But for me I think it is most unfortunate and if we want to go this way, and now we are going to see all kinds of hairstyles in our schools and sooner than later the GES itself must come again because the schools cannot contain… so I think the GES got it wrong,” Dr Fiadomor added.

On his part, MP for Bortianor-Ngleshie Amanfro, Sylvester Tetteh said: “I think GES erred in the first place. GES erred.”


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

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online
Follow us on Twitter: @asaaseradio995

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