The Kwara State Government has warmed principals of schools to desist from imposing the wearing of Hijab (Muslim veil) or beret on students in the state.
The warning came on the heels of the fresh controversy on the wearing of Hijab in some Christian schools, notably the Oyun Baptist High School, Ijagbo, and St Claire’s Girls Secondary School, Offa, in Oyun and Offa local government areas of the state, respectively.
Speaking at a meeting held at the Kwara State Teaching Service Commission in Ilorin on Friday, the Chairman of the commission, Mallam Bello Abubakar, reaffirmed the determination of the government to ensure religious tolerance among teachers and students so as to enhance peaceful coexistence among the people of the state.
According to a statement by the Press Secretary in TESCOM, Peter Amogbonjaye, the meeting was held with the aim of resolving the crisis over Hijab, which erupted recently at the Oyun Baptist Grammar School, Ijagbo.
Abubakar reminded the gathering that Kwara was a state of harmony and advised everyone to be good ambassadors for the coming generation.
The chairman, who warned that the administration of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq would not tolerate religious bigotry, enjoined all to shun religious sentiments and respect the rights of individuals.
The statement added, “He thereafter warned the principals in the Oyun area to abide by the policy of the Kwara State Government and desist from imposing Hijab on any student; instead, it should be made optional.”
The permanent member of the commission, Mallam Suleiman Danseko, urged the principals across the state to shun hypocrisy and religious bias in discharging their legitimate duties.
The President, All Nigeria Confederation of Secondary School Principals, Kwara State wing, Alhaji Toyin Abdullahi, expressed displeasure over the development and urged all the principals to maintain religious neutrality in resolving any issue in their schools.
The meeting was attended by the representative of the Ministry of Education and the Kwara State Primary Education Board represented by Alhaji Abdullateef Atanda.