Lagos State Government Approves The Use Of Hijab In Public Schools
The Lagos State Government has given a goal ahead for Muslim students to use wear hijabs in public schools.
In October, 2014, a Lagos High court ruled against the use of hijab in schools. But the judgement was later upturned by an appeal court in 2016 in a unanimous judgement.
The judgement however said the hijab must be “short, smart, neat and in the same colour of the uniform (skirt),
Dissatisfied with the appellate court’s judgment, the state government took the case to the supreme court.
Although the Lagos State has taken the matter to the Supreme court, it has now given the goal ahead for students to wear Hijab in its school.
The circular said; “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.”
In it’s reaction, the Muslim Student Society of Nigeria (MSSN) through its Emir in Lagos said:
“We are pleased with this development because the embarrassing way and manner that our members are being victimised, harassed, punished and denied entrance into their classrooms for wearing hijab would stop,” the statement read.
“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.
“We commend this intervention aimed at calling teachers, principals and tutor general to order. This circular approving wearing of hijab by students on their school uniform within and outside school premises, will ensure peace and order in our schools and stability in the state’s education system.
“We hereby call on female muslim students to enjoy their rights without fear of molestation. While exhibiting their rights, they should remain law abiding and be good ambassadors of the religion of peace.”