CONTROVERSY trailing the recent Osun State High Court judgment, which permits female Muslim students to wear hijab in public schools, took a new dimension on Monday when some Muslim clerics in Osun state stormed St. Charles High School in Osogbo and Ife Oluwa Middle Schools to enforce the implementation of the ruling.
Nigerian Tribune reliably gathered that the Muslim clerics, who arrived tye school premises around 8.00am said they were there to enforce the wearing of hijab, considering the June 3rd, 2016 court judgement delivered by Justice Jide Falola.
However, the principal of the St. Charles High School, Mr. Anthony Famoriyo was said to have told them that he could not fulfil their request because he was yet to be directed by the Ministry of Education to that effect.
When concated, Famoriyo said no teacher would prevent any student from wearing hijab the moment they receive such directive from the state government. But, when our correspondent visited the school, there was calm as some students of the school were spotted engaging in calisthenic training.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, has denied claims that he is behind the hijab crisis rocking the education sector in the state.
“Let me say this there is no official pronouncement on hijab. I have not ordered the use of hijab in schools and I challenge them to bring evidence,” Aregbesola said during a roundtable on developing collaborative framework for education organised by the Development and Advancement in Western Nigeria.
“It might interest you that my wife does not use hijab, my daughter does not use hijab. So, I did not order the use of hijab. The governor insisted that there was no crisis in the state’s education sector and accused the media of celebrating idiocy by focusing on the decision of some “misguided students” of Baptist High School to wear church garments to school.
He said it was wrong for any religious body to claim the ownership of any public school in the state as government took over the schools about 41 years ago. The governor also said it was not true that schools founded by Muslim were merged with schools established by Christian missionaries. He explained that the hijab crisis started in 2012 when four Muslim students were prevented from using hijab after they were transferred to Baptist High School from a school where they were allowed to use hijab.
Muslim clerics storm schools
Meanwhile, some Muslim clerics stormed some public schools in Osogbo on Monday, insisting that female Muslim students should be allowed to wear hijab to the schools in accordance with the judgment of the Osun State High Court. Our correspondent gathered that the clerics went to St. Charles’ High School and Ife Oluwa Middle School early in the morning but the teachers told them it would take a directive from the Ministry of Education for that to happen. “Some Muslims came this morning and said they wanted to enforce the use of hijab. We explained to them that we will allow our students to wear hijab whenever we get instruction from the state government to do so,” the Principal of St. Charles’ High School, Mr. Anthony Famoriyo, said.
“You know that everything we do in schools follows procedure; what you teach, the way you teach. We are not against any group. We are here to teach our children and that is our mission.”