The Ministry of Education in Malawi has been ordered by a high court to permit students with dreadlocks to enroll in the nation’s public schools.
The Ministry must publish a circular by June 30 announcing the elimination of limitations preventing Rastafarian students from enrolling in public schools, the court in the southern city of Zoma further ordered on Monday.
Two Rastafarian students who had been denied entry to public schools in 2016 and 2010 petitioned for the decision, which was granted.
In its ruling, the court stated that preventing Rastafarian kids from attending public schools violates their right to an education.
Additionally, it mandated that the Attorney General’s office cover all costs related to the case’s hearing.
The two students have, however, reportedly been attending class since they were granted a court order, according to local media sources.
The Jamaican Abrahamic religion known as rastafarianism places a strong emphasis on maintaining one’s natural appearance, especially one’s hair.
Rastafarians in Malawi, meanwhile, have long been marginalized by educational rules that require pupils to cut their hair in order to promote what they refer to as student uniformity, which forces some Rastafarian parents to enroll their children in private schools.
Parents of children with dreadlocks who cannot afford private schools give in and have them trimmed.