Hindus are urging Ghana President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to urgently intervene in the affairs of elite Achimota School so that minority religions do not have to sacrifice their beliefs to enroll or continue their education.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Ghana prided itself being a nation of high religious tolerance and robust religious freedom. Now was the time to prove these claims.
According to reports, a Rastafarian student of Achimota School is fighting to keep his dreadlocks. There were more instances of minority religions facing hardships in Ghana’s public schools.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged Ghana to develop a transparent system where school administrators face strong disciplinary actions when found discriminating against students of minority religions. Policies and procedures of public schools should also be looked into to root out all intolerance, unfairness, prejudice and bias based on the belief systems of students.
Rajan Zed emphasized that students should be able to express their religious and cultural identity freely. Students should not be punished simply for following their religious beliefs and tenets. Students should not be put in a difficult position to choose between their faith and education.
Zed further said that Achimota School should admit the mistake, apologize to the concerned student and his parents, and amend the grooming guidelines for the future to accommodate the religious freedom. Minorities respected the school grooming policies as long as these did not violate the traditions and beliefs of the pupils.
Rajan Zed also urged National Peace Council Board Chairman Ernest Adu-Gyamfi, Christian Council of Ghana Chairman Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante, Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council President Paul Frimpong Manso, Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference President Archbishop Philip Naameh, and other Ghana religious leaders to speak up for religious freedom in Ghana. As faith leaders, it was our moral obligation and duty to help the minorities, helpless and downtrodden.
According to US Department of State 2020 Report on International Religious Freedom on Ghana: The constitution prohibits religious discrimination, stipulates that individuals are free to profess and practice their religion, and does not designate a state religion.
Founded in 1924, the motto of Achimota School is Ut Omnes Unum Sint, meaning “That all may be one”. Six former heads of state in Africa attended this school, which is located in Achimota in Greater Accra (Ghana).