Hijab controversy: 10 schools to remain shut over protest in Kwara

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THE Kwara State government has said that the 10 schools involved in Muslim headgear controversy are to remain shut until further notice.

According to NAN, the directive was contained in a statement signed by Mamman Jibril, secretary to the state government, on Monday.

Jibril said the schools were to remain shut until the government concluded and made its position known to the public.

The affected schools were: Cherubim and Seraphim (C&S) College, Sabo Oke; St. Anthony College, Offa Road; ECWA School, Oja Iya; Surulere Baptist Secondary School, and Bishop Smith Secondary School, Agba Dam.

Others are Christ Apostolic Church Secondary School, Asa Dam; St. Barnabas Secondary School, Sabo Oke; St. John School, Maraba; St. Williams Secondary School, Taiwo Isale; and St. James Secondary School, Maraba.

He added that the official pronouncement of the Kwara State government was likely to be made known this week.

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“The government urges parents, officials and authorities at the affected schools to maintain peace and avoid making comments or doing anything that could cause further misunderstanding and heat up the polity,” Jibril said.

The Kwara State government had Friday directed the immediate closure of some missionary schools in Ilorin pending the resolution of issues surrounding the use of Muslim headgear, otherwise known as Hijab, in the schools.

Kemi Adeosun, permanent secretary, Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, said a government committee comprising of Muslima and Christians had met Friday towards resolving the matter.

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

A video seen by The ICIR shows how some students in uniforms and hijab were prevented from entering the school premises.

Victor Dada, proprietor of Baptist Senior Secondary School, Surulere, said the use of the Hijab would not be allowed because it was a missionary school.

“It is not a matter about this morning alone, it is a matter of about two to three days ago. They  said that Muslim students in our school must wear Hijab, we made it clear that that is not possible because this is a mission school,” Dada said.

He added that although the school was run by the government, the Baptist owned it and whatever was not in line with the principle of the Baptist church would not be allowed.


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