The Kwara State government has approved the rights of the Muslim female students to wear the hijab in the State.
The Secretary to the Kwara State Government, Prof Mamma Sabah Jibril made the disclosure in a press statement he personally signed, on Thursday, February 25.
Prof. Jubril also stated that the state government has ordered the reopening of the affected 10 schools and classes should commence on Monday, March 8.
There have been controversies over the use of hijab, the Muslim head cover in some public schools formerly owned by Christian missionaries in the predominantly Muslim state.
The principals of the 10 schools together with some teachers coordinated the removal of hijab on the students last week.
Those who refused to remove it were locked out of the schools.
The Muslim community staged a peaceful protest, demanding for their children’s right.
The Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq-led government quickly intervened by ordering the immediate closure of the 10 schools in order to avert crisis.
To be bring about peace to the State of Harmony, the Kwara state government set up a committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Kayode Alabi, a Christian, which also comprised the leaders of the both the Muslim and Christian communities.
Barely a week after the incident, the State has finally made it position known on the use of hijab in the State.
In a copy of the statement received by Muslim News, the Secretary to the Kwara State Government said the use of hijab in the affected schools and other schools in Kwara state has been authorized after consultations with the relevant stakeholders in the state, including leaders of both the Muslim and Christian communities.
Prof. Jubril also directed 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,” he added.
The statement also affirmed the right of every child in public schools to freedom of worship.
Speaking further, Prof Jubril said the State government has carefully noted submissions regarding ownership of grant-aided schools and related issues.
According to him, “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.
Prof. Jubril, who asserted that there is no victor or vanquished on the hijab question, commended all the religious leaders on both sides for their forbearance, understanding and commitment to peace.
He however urged the two faith communities, especially the leaders, opinion moulders and media personalities to act with restraint and great responsibility in their public utterances and actions, and continue to live in peace and harmony with one another.
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