Malawi: After the ban on dreadlocks was lifted, Rastafarian children in Malawi can now attend school again
By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria
After being expelled from public schools in Malawi for a decade due to their hair, approximately 1,200 Rastafarian children are anticipated to return within the next month.
After a milestone choice at the high court in Spring, letters have now been sent to around 7,000 schools let headteachers know that the prohibition of youngsters with dreadlocks from the homeroom has been governed as unlawful.
Zione Ntaba, a high court judge who oversaw a lengthy review of government policy in Zomba, the former capital of Malawi, directed the education ministry to inform state schools that they must accept Rastafarian children by June 30.
In Malawi, grade school is given for nothing yet enrolment had recently expected all kids to trim their hair.
In the 1930s, Rastafarianism emerged as an Afrocentric religion opposed to western colonialism based on a few biblical principles. For some it is a religion, for others a lifestyle, says Ezaius Mkandawire, a dad and Rastafarian people group pioneer in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe.
Mkandawire has been advocating for his three children, Makeda, who is six years old, Uhuru, who is eight years old, and Urunji, who is fourteen years old, who were denied admission to public schools because of their dreadlocks.
Inside Malawi’s little Rastafarian minority, an expected 15,000 individuals follow Rastafarianism as a religion and thousands more have taken on it as a lifestyle, or what Mkandawire calls “livity”. As a result, Rastafarians despise cutting or using “a razor” on their hair because it carries sacred meaning and is mentioned in several Old Testament passages.
As a result of the court’s decision, many Rastafarian parents have sought reimbursement from the government for their children’s exclusion from school, claiming that the “archaic policy” that considered dreadlocks “unhygienic” violated their rights and that their children had suffered as a result.
Mkandawire said that their campaign to get the government to fix the harm caused by the ban would continue, calling for special vocational programs and loans to help kids who didn’t go to school.
“We are not battling with the public authority, or tossing stones, yet [trying] to dissuade them,” said Mkandawire, adding that a few youngsters had slipped into crimes in light of the boycott.
Pemphero George, like many Rastafarian parents, was upset when her children were sent home from school and refused entry because of their dreadlocks. My youngsters’ on the whole correct to instruction and opportunity of affiliation was put to address” as a result of the boycott, she said.