Children’s rights advocacy organisation Child Rights International has called on authorities at Achimota School to first of all grant admission to two Rastafarian students before talking about their hair.
It said this is on the basis of the Welfare Principle of the Children’s Act of 560.
“Child Rights International believes that on the basis of the Welfare Principle and substantive right of the child, the child must first be granted admission,” the civil society organisation said in a press release on Friday, March 19.
“If the makeup of the child does not impede his ability to learn and social interaction with other students, the child must be granted the right of admittance.
“A child should not be denied access to education irrespective of his/her makeup, even if it’s ‘Rastafarian hair’.”
This comes after Achimota School denied admission to the students with dreadlocks with the pretext that it is against the school’s regulations.
This has raised the hackles of the Rastafarian society, whose leadership has threatened to take the matter to court.
Child Rights International proposes that after admission has been granted to the children with consideration to their fundamental rights, Welfare principle and the UNHCR principles non-discrimination, engagement process can begin between the parents and the school authorities “to decide on the way forward in the best interest of the child”.
Executive Director of CRI Bright Kweku Appiah said in matters of this nature, there must be a clear balance between school rules, substantive rights of children and fundamental freedoms.
“In our opinion, where there is a clash, each must find its relevant space within our educational system but the ultimate is the substantive rights of children.”