Court verdict on Achimota-Rasta impasse victory to fundamental human right but flawed – Vincent Assafuah

Vincent Ekow Assafuah, a Ghanaian politician and a former Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of Education has described the court judgment ordering the Achimota Senior High School to admit the two first-year students it rejected due to their dreadlocks as victory to fundamental human right. However, he states unequivocally that the Human Rights Court 1 Division of the High Court in Accra erred in its ruling.

“It is a victory to the fundamental human right of every child in this country. Chapter 5 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, more specifically Article 17 (2) states nobody should be discriminated against based on the person’s region beliefs,” he said on Accra-based Original 91.9FM.

Sharing his sentiment in a conversation with Original 91.9FM’s Kwaku Owusu Adjei on the Adwenekasa socio-political morning show, the erstwhile Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of Education, Vincent Assafuah, said faith-based schools have the responsibility to instill in its students the discipline to become morally upright hence strict rules and regulations.

“The judgment from the high court is flawed. I disagree with the court, Ekow Assafuah maintained during the interview.

Justifying his reason for opposing the judgment read by Justice Gifty Agyei Addo on Monday, May 31, 2021, he said “In Ghana our laws as far as senior high schools are concerned, especially missionary schools. Those schools were set up with the basis that there should be a certain focus on how our young men and women are trained and they’re brought up as people in anticipation of originators of these missionary schools they want young people to be trained.”

He continued, “I’ll give this vivid example. I went to St Peter’s Seminary. Though a senior high school but has been set up specifically to train Catholic Priests. We had a week for a retreat. Students from Opoku Ware, Prempeh College all observed this week-long event. Within the retreat period, you don’t talk. In fact, you don’t do anything. You don’t study. All that you do is offer prayers. When you come to St. Peter’s the place looks like a cemetery.”

“It is part of the rules and regulations. You cannot say because the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana Article 17 (2) gives the fundamental human right, so, you can do whatever you want,” he added to buttress his point.

“If you’re training a child below 18 years you have to lay down regulations for him or her. For the child to become the adult you expect of him or her. In social studies, we call it socialization. You need to socialize the child in such a way he becomes a responsible adult, so, are those rules and regulations set up by senior high schools.”

Meanwhile, the former Kumbungu Constituency lawmaker, Ras Mubarak, has expressed excitement at the ruling, stating the constitution is lucid on child rights and he knew the court would order Achimota Senior to admit the two Rastafarians.

Speaking on the Adwenekasa programme, he cautioned against heads of senior high schools using religion as a yardstick to deny students from enjoying their fundamental rights.

“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 Original 91.9FM’s  Kwaku Owusu Adjei, Pato host of Adwenekasa, Tuesday.


By: Bernard Ralph Adams | | Ghana

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