The government says no teacher should discriminate or punish any student for wearing hijab until the case is decided by the Supreme Court.
Following the recent hijab controversy involving the principal of Isolo Senior Secondary School, Mrs J.O Sadare and some female students in Lagos, the state government has approved the use of hijab in all public schools in the state.
While the case on the use of hijab in Lagos public schools is still pending at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, the state government has in a circular dated Tuesday, November 13, 2018, announced that the students may be allowed to wear hijab.
The circular reads: ”since the case of the use of Hijab in Lagos State is still pending in the Supreme court of Nigeria, status quo be maintained, to avoid contempt of the court, that is students be allowed to wear Hijabs on school uniforms but same must be short, smart, neat and in the same colour of the uniform (skirt).
“Furthermore, schools management are advised to downplay comments and disciplinary actions on the use of smart Hijabs until the final determination of the case by Supreme Court.
“No student should be discriminated against in any form on the basis of religion.
“All principals and teachers must be sensitized to comply accordingly. You are enjoined to adhere strictly to these recommendations.”
Muslim students reaction
However, while announcing this development on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, the Amir (president) of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Dr Saheed Ashafa commended the state government for approving the use of hijab in public schools adding that the approval would help to stop harassment and victimization of female Muslim students for wearing hijab.
He said, “We are pleased with this development because the embarrassing way and manner that our members are being victimized, harassed, punished and denied entrance into their classrooms for wearing hijab would stop.
“We have constantly told the state government that while a case on the hijab is awaiting final verdict at the Supreme Court, no teacher has the right to punish female pupils for wearing hijab. The Appeal Court in the case clearly states that wearing hijab by students, whether within or outside the school premises was a fundamental Human Right entrenched in the constitution.
“It is important to notify you that we will not allow further lawlessness and flagrant disregard for rule of law to stay after this circular. The circular would also help to stop the abuse of rights which could have degenerated into crisis or violence that may lead to the disruption of activities in schools in our dear state.
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