Former Kumbungu Constituency lawmaker, Ras Mubarak, says he knew the outcome of the Achimota Senior High School versus two Rastafarian students’ case before the court pronounced the verdict on Monday, May 31, 2021.
“It is welcoming news but I wasn’t surprised at the outcome because when their parents were proceeding to court, I already knew the verdict. Our constitution is very clear on the right of a child. Article 28(4) of the 1992 Constitution, the whole of Article 28 talks about child’s right,” he told Kwaku Owusu Adjei, Pato host of Adwenekasa, Tuesday.
The Rastafarians, Tyrone Marhguy and Oheneba Nkrabea were denied enrollment into the second cycle institution for wearing dreads which is not in conformity with the school’s rules and regulations.
The two lads petitioned the Human Rights Court 1 Division of the High Court in Accra to among other things order the management of the Achimota School to admit them, arguing they have the right to education.
Delivering the judgment on the case, Justice Gifty Agyei Addo held that the Attorney-General failed to provide a legal justification as to why the rights of the two Rastafarian students to education should be limited on the basis of their dreadlocks.
Justice Gifty Agyei Addo granted all the reliefs separately sought by the students, save for the relief of compensation in the case of Tyrone Marhguy.
Commenting on the ruling in an interview on Original 91.9FM on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, Ras Mubarak, who advocates for Rastafarians’ rights expressed delight at the development stressing the need for child rights to be respected anywhere in the country.
Quoting Article 28(4), which states emphatically that, ”no child shall be deprived by any other person of medical treatment, education, or any other social or economic benefit using only religion or any other beliefs,” the card-bearing National Democratic Congress (NDC) member noted that “You can’t prevent a child from accessing education because of his religion.”
He further sounded a caution to heads of senior high schools using religion as a yardstick to deny students from enjoying their rights as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution to refrain from such unlawful conduct.
“The ruling is very exciting as far as I’m concerned the headmasters and the headmistress who have decided instead of respecting the constitution they’ll go about talking about conviction and by-laws and rules those rules are subject to the constitution of Ghana, so, if we’re Achimota and you have made your rules it is not over and above the constitution and that’s exactly what the court has told them.”
He wondered why the management of the Achimota Senior High School admits foreign students in dreads but discriminate against people of the black race, describing such attitude as mental slavery.
“Aren’t you startled a white child would be in her natural hairstyle at Achimota School and she’s allowed to, but when a black person does the same, it’s unkempt? If this is not mental slavery I don’t know what this is. I don’t fathom why it is so. The white person rocking the natural hair is she better than the black? Why are we doing this to ourselves, Africa?”
By: Bernard Ralph Adams | Metrotvonline.com | Ghana