Teachers and management staff of grant-aided missionary schools in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, on Wednesday protested over the state government directive on the use of Hijab (Muslim veil) in all public schools in the state.
Students who resumed in line with the government’s directive on reopening of the schools for academic activities on Wednesday were denied access into the school premises by the protesting teachers and management staff.
The protesters displayed different placards to express their displeasure over the government’s decision, rejecting the use of hijab in their schools.
The government had approved the use of Hijab for all public schools on February 26, and directed the closure of 10 grant-aided missionaries closed due to their rejections of the government’s decision, citing possible breakdown of law and order.
The government late last night issued a statement through the Ministry of Education ordering the reopening of the affected schools, nine days after it ordered their closure.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, Kemi Adeosun said in the statement that: “This path to mutual respect, understanding and peace with regards to hijab had long been adopted in northern Nigeria and many states in the Southwest such as Lagos, Osun, Ekiti and Oyo States.
“The government is convinced that its policy to allow willing Muslim schoolgirls to wear their hijab in public schools will lead to sustainable peace and communal harmony anchored on mutual respect and understanding.”
The affected schools are: C&S College Sabo Oke, St. Anthony Secondary School, Offa Road; ECWA School, Oja Iya; Surulere Baptist Secondary School; Bishop Smith Secondary School, Agba Dam; CAC Secondary School, Asa Dam road; St. Barnabas Secondary School, Sabo Oke; St. John School, Maraba; St. Williams Secondary School, Taiwo Isale; St. James Secondary School Maraba.