Kwara govt shuts 10 schools over hijab controversy

Kwara govt. shuts down 10 schools over the hijab controversy again. The government claims that this decision is for the safety of the students.

Kwara government directs the ten secondary schools where the hijab is debated not to reopen today.

The Kwara State Ministry of Education has changed its decision to reopen the ten grant-aided schools, where hijab is not allowed.

The Ministry’s permanent secretary, Kemi Adeosun, explained that the schools were meant to reopen on Monday, but they will remain closed.

She stated that the decision was taken as a safety measure for the students.

“The government has therefore asked the students and teachers in the affected schools to stay at home until it is announced that the schools should reopen.

Based on a statement; “The government says it is acting in all fairness, diversity, and respect for the law and rights of all citizens at every point in time,” 

Background Story

In February, the government ordered that ten grant-aided secondary schools in Ilorin, the state capital, temporarily shut down. The decision was pending the resolution of the dispute in the educational facilities.

The schools include:
  • C&S College
  • ST. Anthony College
  • ECWA School
  • Surulere Baptist Secondary School
  • Bishop Smith Secondary School
  • CAC Secondary School 
  • St. Barnabas Secondary School
  • St. John School
  • St. Williams Secondary School
  • St. James Secondary School

The Muslim leaders insisted that students be granted permission to use the hijab in line with the Constitution. Still, their Christian counterparts said such an act disagrees with the heritage of the missionaries who founded the schools.

However, after several meetings, the state government agreed to allow hijab in all public schools and ordered that the affected schools be reopened on March 8.

The state government also said it had considered the input of all the core interest groups on the subject matter.

But the Christian leaders disagreed with this decision and kicked against it publicly. They insisted that they will not permit such in their mission schools.

They had also encouraged the Christians “to occupy the schools” when the school reopened on Monday; March 8 reopened to protest against the government’s decision.

They made it clear that the military government, in the 1970s, took over these schools from those who built them.

 Now grant-aided, these schools changed their names afterward. But some schools, like those in Kwara, maintained their names.

On two occasions, the Christian missions in Kwara State went to court to challenge the fact that the government owns these schools, but they lost the case at the high court and the court of appeal.

Despite losing the case, the missions comprising various Christian denominations have appealed to the Supreme Court.

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