Hijab crisis: Kwara govt directs closure of affected schools

Kwara State government has directed immediate temporary closure of some grant-aided schools in Ilorin, the state capital, pending resolution of the hijaab question in the schools.

The affected schools are:

1. C&S College Sabo Oke
2. ST. Anthony College, Offa Road
3. ECWA School, Oja Iya
4. Surulere Baptist Secondary School
5. Bishop Smith Secondary School, Agba Dam
6. CAC Secondary School Asa Dam
7. St. Barnabas Secondary School Sabo Oke
8. St. John School Maraba
9. St. Williams Secondary School Taiwo Isale and
10. St. James Secondary School Maraba.

It is recalled that the state government met with religious leaders in the state, with both Muslim and Christian leaders stating their positions and offering opinions on how to resolve the differences on the hijaab question in grant-aided schools.

Muslim stakeholders, including Muslim youth and women organization in the state, had earlier called on the state government to prevail on former owners of public schools to allow female Muslim students to wear hijab.

They said that since the state government had taken over such schools, the former missionary owners do no longer have control over the grant-aided schools in the state.

The Muslim stakeholders said that allowing Muslim female students to wear hijab will be in conformity with the judgment of the Kwara State High Court of 2016 and that of the Court of Appeal of 2019.

However, some of the affected schools reportedly locked out female Muslim students wearing a hijab on Friday, leading to peaceful protest by parents and other stakeholders in Ilorin.

In a statement by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, Mrs Mary Kemi Adeosun, in Ilorin on Friday, the state government said that the closure “comes as a government committee comprising representatives of the Muslim and Christian communities meets today (Friday) to iron out the differences between the two communities.

“Further communication will be issued to inform members of the public on the development.

“Government calls for calm and urges parents and religious leaders to avoid actions or comments that may further split the two communities”.

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