The Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has revealed that Achimota School will admit the two Rastafarian students it denied admission.
Speaking to JoyNews’ Evans Mensah, he said government’s concern is to ensure that every student worthy of a secondary school education gets it.
Mr Dame disclosed this a day after the Governing Board of Achimota School indicated that it disagreed with the ruling of an Accra High Court, ordering it to admit the students it had earlier refused enrollment on grounds of they wearing dreadlocks, contrary to school regulations.
The Board further stated its intention to appeal the decision.
According to the Attorney General, although Achimota School has filed a stay of execution to suspend the execution of the court judgment, he has advised the School to withdraw it.
“So the President will be concerned about any action which will prevent them [Rastafarian students] from going to school. So if students ought to go to school, the school ought to open its doors to them,” he added.
Mr Dame added that the School can pursue the appeal without the stay of execution order unless the order’s absence will lead to some injustice.
“I think that even when the soundness or correctness of the decision is being tested in an appeal, there is no justification for a stay of execution to be filed. So it has come to my knowledge… so I told the Minister of Education that the stay of execution should be withdrawn.”
The two Rastafarian students, Tyrone Iras Marhguy and Oheneba Kwaku Nkrabea dragged the Achimota School Board of Governors, the Minister of Education, Ghana Education Service, and the Attorney General to court for refusing to enroll them with the explanation that they had to shave their dreadlocks in accordance with the School’s regulations.
The court presided over by Justice Gifty Agyei Addo, ruled that the fundamental human rights of two students cannot be limited by the rules in question.
However, in a statement signed by the Chairman of the Board on Tuesday, June, 1, the Board stated that “the School Board disagrees with the court’s ruling. The School Board has, therefore, directed its lawyers to appeal against the ruling.”
But, the Attorney General said Achimota School cannot fail to heed his advice on withdrawing the stay of execution and subsequently admitting the young boys.
Mr Dame said that among the laws that govern the School is the Pre-Tertiary Education Act adding that “the act mandates Ghana Education Service as the body with powers to supervise all public schools.”
“GES is under the Ministry of Education, it is subject to the advice of the Attorney General, all the time we give them advice on various issues, and we represent them in court,” he added.
He added that when the case comes to a close after the appeal, he expects both parties to obey the court’s order.
Meanwhile, Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum has described as surprising, the decision of the Governing Board of Achimota School to appeal the court ruling.
According to him, the Management of the School cannot take such a decision unilaterally.
“I am very surprised. He cannot take that unilateral decision. I’m waiting for a full briefing of the Attorney General who I commend for going to court, so nobody can preempt us. So, Achimota Board, chill,” he said on Accra-based Metro TV Tuesday.