Spokesperson for the National Chief Imam has lamented the situation that some two students wearing dreadlocks have had to deal with since the admission process for the 2021 academic year began in Senior High Schools.
According to Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu, the religious circumstances surrounding the hairdo must be prioritised over the fashion argument.
“I think we must also accept that dreadlocks for some people are a matter of fashion. And those ones we need to know how to handle. But those that are based on a certain kind of belief and those beliefs are part of our identity and non-negotiable, it is important that we go ahead with a dialogue,” he said on Tuesday.
The freshmen, Tyron Marghuy and Oheneba Kwaku Nkrabea were returned by the Achimota School last week over what the institution’s authorities believe is a hairstyle that flies in the face of their code of conduct.
They have asked the boys to cut their hair or risk losing the admission status.
The teens’ parents say they believe in the Rastafarian faith, a development that must not be a hindrance to their effort to secure quality education for their wards.
The Ghana Education Service over the weekend directed that the school admits the students but the Headmistress insists otherwise. Her stance has been heavily backed by the old students’ association, the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), and the PTA.
The boys have missed two days of lesson over this issue as classes area already in session.
Speaking on PM Express, President of NAGRAT, Angel Karbonu argued that the floodgates will be open for all sorts of indiscipline to be perpetuated in second-cycle institutions if the school allows this case to slide without a fight.
But Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu who has been an advocate for a similar tussle regarding the Islamic students in non-faith-based government schools has called for cool heads to prevail to allow the boys to join the colleagues in the classroom for the time being.
The Islamic cleric indicated the boys must not be denied their right to education on the basis of their physical appearance adding that “they cannot wait.”
“Education is the lifeline for the proper development of every individual. To deny any individual education just on grounds of appearances will be to jeopardise their progress and I think that we don’t want to go down that lane,” he told Evans Mensah.
The issue has gained national attention with many Ghanaians sharing their thoughts on how best it can be resolved.
While contributing on to the show, private legal practitioner Martin Kpebu cited best practices in other countries and called on NAGRAT to “tone down a bit and lets look at what our peers are doing.”
Sheikh Aremeyaw sided with the lawyer on the point.