Dr. Benjamin Otchere-Ankrah, a lecturer of the Central University in Accra, has directed the parents of two Rastafarian students, whose enrolment into Achimota School has been denied, to respect the school rules.
The Achimota/Rasta students brouhaha has recently dominated discussions on the airwaves.
Headmistress of the school refused to accept the two students on grounds that their appearance is a breach of their rules.
The students were therefore asked to cut their dreadlocks before they are enrolled but the school directive has become a bone of contention between the parents and school authorities.
The issue caught the attention of the Ghana Education Service which initially ordered the school management to accept the students but later withdrew their directive and asked the students to comply with the school policy.
Discussing the issue on Peace FM’s “Kokrokoo”, Dr. Benjamin Otchere-Ankrah blamed the students’ parents for their children’s predicament.
He questioned the kind of training the parents are giving to their children.
On the matter of the parents seeking for the children to wear the dreadlocks to school, Dr. Otchere-Ankrah said the rules cannot be bent to favor a particular group.
He said, “The school has their rules. If you know you can’t comply, go somewhere else but if you can, then obey the rules”, adding, “If we permit them to keep their dreadlocks, then we’re opening the floodgate for some people to say once we have allowed them, they should also be permitted to do whatever they want.”
He noted that allowing the students to go to school with their dreadlocks will set a bad precedent for the nation.
“It’s not about religion. We haven’t said anywhere in Ghana that if someone is a Rastafarian, we won’t allow them to hold their religion but rather we’re saying the school doesn’t permit you to do this . . . We are saying where you’re going, you have to cut your hair and when you complete and you want to grow your hair, you do it. This is a simple matter,” he stated.
He also stressed that ”no one has the authority to order the school on what they should do or not”.