The Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga has cautioned the board of Achimota Senior High School to stop any attempt to file for application for stay of application to prevent the Rastafarian students to be in the school to study even if they have decided to litigate the matter in the appeal court.
He explained that, Because the court will weigh the laws when it is occasioned to the school or when it is occasioned to the child if the judgment is not enforced or if there is some restraint in the enforcement of the judgment. I think they will weigh the two and most likely any court weighing the two will come to a conclusion that more damage will be occasioned to the child if the child stays home any further than would be occasioned to the school if the child is in the school for a period when the matter is being litigated in court. So, I have a feel that the court will not grant their application for stay of execution pending the determination of the outcome of the matter. I have faith that the court will not allow them to continue to prevent the children from learning in the school whiles the case is being litigated in court."
Hon Mahama Ayariga, who was contributing to a discussion on GH One TV morning show, however, urged the board and management of the Achimota Senior High School to continue to have confidence in the court that they will do the right thing even if they pursue the matter in appeal court.
He further noted that school's regulations have always greatly informed the way students should behave.
"I think that issues come up, and we seek resolution, but let's not pretend that over the years how you look in senior high schools and basic schools has not been the subject of regulation. They have always been. What kind of hair you keep, what kind of uniform you wear, how long your skirt should be, how long your short should be and what kind of sandals you wear. They have all been subjects of regulation in schools. It just happens that this provides some exception. If the boys were not Rastafarians, if they did not show that the dread lock was tied to deep-seated religious belief, I'm not sure that they will garner the kind of support that they are getting. So, let's not pretend that there are no regulations and that GES have been behind this regulation. It just that the boys are arguing that this is an exception, and it's tied to a religious belief. And then also these are public schools and standards must be maintained. And I'm not sure GES was acting base on specific regulation, but realized that this argument by the boys was exception to our rules. If the exception is founded on a religious belief which one should we respect, the freedom of worship or the regulation of the school.
Furthermore, the position every one seems to be taken is that freedom of worship should be triumphed over the interest of the school to have general rule regarding how students should be looked and appeared on their campuses. I don't have a problem with that.
On his part, the Member of Parliament for Sisala East, Hon. Amidu Chinnia Issahaku,
insisted that the Ghana Education Service, GES, is a regulator and that the rules of Achimota Senior High School must be in conformity to the general rules of GES.
" As a smaller body, you cannot make rules that contravene the rules of a higher authority. And so if GES in their consideration think that what Achimota School is trying to enforce is against the children, it means that GES agree that regulation does not hold. So if GES had given directives and had refused, and they didn't act, and now the children have gone to court and won the case. I think that GES as the overseer of education in Ghana should be able to do something within their own rules and regulations.
Hon. Amidu Chinnia Issahaku, insisted that the schools in the country should not be allowed to make rules that GES should not have control over.
"Otherwise tomorrow another school will make a decision, and they will say no, but the school will insist. So just as people are saying that if they admit these students other people will come out with different issues and say these are their religious beliefs. If GES also does not bite and ensure they are the regulators of education and so their decision is supreme, then all schools can also come out with all kinds of weird rules to defy theirs."
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