18-year-old traditional priest denied admission to Dzodze-penyi SHS

Authorities at the Dzodze-penyi Senior High School have reportedly denied admission to “Togbui Tueve Awunyo II” of Ative (ativɛ), in the Ketu North Municipality of the Volta Region who has been posted there to study Visual Arts.

According to Myjoyonline.com, the 18-year-old JHS graduate also known as Galley Felix was rejected by the school after learning that he is a traditional priest, despite being placed by the Computerized School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS).

The school’s administrators insisted that he removed the cap he wore to the school, and all his explanations to them for wearing the cap did not change anything.

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In Galley Felix’s explanation, he said that harm would befall his community and himself should the school still insist he takes off his religious cap before being given admission.

“I gained admission to Dzodze-penyi Senior High, but I was told I would only be allowed into the school if I remove my cap, but according to our culture, there is no way I can remove it. I tried explaining to the school why I wear the cap, but the school insisted I take it off before being allowed in the school.”

“I could go mad and many things could happen to my community if I remove my cap in public. I have been wearing this [cap] for 13 years, and no one has asked me to remove it because they know the ramifications,” he bemoaned.

Meanwhile, the Headteacher of the school, Matthew Troha said that his outfit was following specific processes and codes of conduct which they cannot compromise on.

He added that the only ground on which Galley Felix would be granted admission with his fetish cap on would be to file a request to seek permission from the school.

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A similar development at Achimota School in the Greater Accra Region has been in the news headlines in the past few days after it rejected two students because they had on dreadlocks.

In that case, too, the school authorities said they were enforcing rules and regulations.

After the matter generated a lot of controversy on social media and the father of one of the affected students threatened to head to the law court, the Ghana Education Service stepped in and instructed authorities of Achimota School to admit the two students.

Director-General of GES, Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa said: “You cannot say that you will not admit someone on the basis of the person’s religious belief and so we have asked the head to allow the children to be in school.” 

Stakeholders have been expressing sharply divided views on the GES’s intervention with some applauding it while others maintain it sets a bad precedent.

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