Kwara govt okays use of hijab in public schools

Kwara State government has approved use of head covering (hijab) in public schools in the state.

It is recalled that at least 10 schools were earlier shut by the state government to maintain peace and public order as well as prevent some people from taking undue advantage of the controversy that came recently over the use of hijab in some public schools in the state.

In a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Mamma Sabah Jibril, late Thursday night, the state government said it “acknowledges and approves the right of the Muslim schoolgirl to wear the hijab and directs the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development to come up with a uniform hijab for all public/ grant-aided schools, which will be the accepted mode of head covering in schools”.

The statement also said that any willing schoolgirl with the approved (uniform) hijab shall have the right to wear same in public/grant-aided schools.

“Sequel to recent developments in our state over the status of the hijaab in public/grant-aided schools, the state government has consulted widely with thought leaders and leaders of both Muslim and Christian communities with a view to clarifying issues and reaching a consensus. The last of such meetings was held on Wednesday, February 24, presided by Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.

“The state government has considered submissions of all major interest groups on the matter. It has also thoroughly considered the education law of Kwara State, the prevailing court judgments and current global trends of multiculturalism in evolving a consultation-based decision that will bring lasting peace and understanding to our communities.

“The government has also paid particular attention to the ‘declaratory’ nature of the subsisting judgments of the Court of Appeal and their purports.

“Consequently, the government hereby acknowledges and approves the right of the Muslim schoolgirl to wear the hijab, and directs the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development to come up with a uniform hijab for all public/ grant-aided schools, which will be the accepted mode of head covering in schools. Any willing schoolgirl with the approved (uniform) hijab shall have the right to wear same in public/grant-aided schools.

“Also, the government affirms the right of every child in public schools to freedom of worship.

“The government hereby directs that the affected 10 schools should reopen to commence classes on Monday, 8th March 2021.

“Similarly, the government has carefully noted submissions regarding ownership of grant-aided schools and related issues. While the status of these schools is the subject of judicial determination, this and other related matters will soon be subjected to a technical committee to advise accordingly. The government reassures all members of the public that it will act in good conscience at all times.”

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