Achimota School is one of the most respected schools in Ghana. There is no doubt that when it comes to senior high schools, there are a select number of schools who are placed in the higher echelons by Ghanaians and Achimota is one of them.
Achimota School, Presec Legon, Adisadel College and many others are in this class – you can add the rest.
However, the high class image cultivated by this school throughout the years which has lead it to produce some very important people in Ghanaian history has now been eternally tarnished.
2021 is the year Achimota became the face of bigotry, racism, mental slavery and double standards in Ghana.
Last week, two rastafarian students were denied admission into the school on the basis that they cannot wear their hair long.
The school claimed that rules are rules and the rastafarian students have to cut their hair short before receiving admission.
That singular decision has led to a national conversation on religious freedom, educational practices, rule of law, discrimination and many hot topic issues. Whilst Ghanaians were divided over the issue, things have become much clearer now due to two things that have popped up.
One, it turns out Achimota School admits foreign students with long hair. Despite the headmistress of the school stubbornly refusing to budge on the issue of admitting the Rastafarians, claiming everyone must have short hair – it has emerged that the ‘everyone’ she means is ‘everyone but white people’.
That is textbook discrimination, mental slavery and ‘diet’ racism. The school can also be argued to be bigoted in its treatment of the rastafarians.
The second issue which has turned the issue on its head is that the President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) said in the past that caucasian children can atted SHS in Ghana without cutting their hair.
According to him, they would look ‘ugly’ if they cut their hair and hence must keep long hair.
Both these contradict the GES and Achimota claim that ‘rules are rules’ and must be enforced in all situations. If ‘rules are rules’ why are white kids who attend these schools exempt?
The only explanation is that these teachers give a higher level of ‘importance’ to foreign students, considering them more human than our own kids. So a foreign girl will gladly be admitted to Achimota with long hair but a Ghanaian kid with locks has to go through hell and high water.
All this has done is put Achimota up as the face of mental slavery and racism in Ghana. Congratulations to the school and NAGRAT for exposing their true colours.
As George Orwell wrote in ‘Animal Farm’ – “All animals are equal but [white] animals are more equal than others,”