The Ombudsman has given management of Kamarambo primary school in Malawi’s Mzimba district a 14 day ultimatum to re-admit Bible Believers pupils at the school who refused to cut their hair short.
This follows complaints from members of the church after the children were banned from the school in 2014.
According to a letter from the chief regional officer at the Ombudsman Yamikani Chokhotho, issues of hair cannot warrant the school to ban children from attending classes.
The Ombudsman also advised the school management to abide by the letter or face court proceedings.
In reaction to the letter from the Ombudsman, teachers at the school wrote a letter to the Ombudsman saying they will not re-admit the students until they cut their hair short.
“The school management, Parents Teacher Association (PTA) together with the members of the church agreed that the parents will abide by the school rules by allowing their children to cut their hair short,” wrote the teachers.
They said it was shocking to realise the parents of the pupils were not convinced hence reporting the case to the office of the Ombudsman.
The teachers warned the Office of the Ombudsman to stop threatening them and denied that they are in breach of section four of the Ombudsman Act.
The teachers have also described the Ombudsman’s conduct as a breach of academic freedom and threatened that they will stage a sit in.
Bible Believers church is a religion which prohibits female members from cutting or re-touching their hair.