The controversy over the use of hijabs in grant-aided schools in Kwara State worsened on Wednesday as Christians rejected the government directive on the reopening of schools.
Students and teachers who resumed in line with the government’s directive were denied access into the school premises as protesting teachers and management staff displayed different placards to express their displeasure over the government’s decision.
It was further learnt that there was chaos at Baptist School, Surulere over the issue before the police intervened.
The Kwara State government had not reacted to the development as at the time of filling this report.
The government late last night issued a statement through the Ministry of Education ordering the reopening of the affected schools.
“The closure of the schools became necessary to forestall security breaches which may affect lives and properties. Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, Mrs Kemi Adeosun said in a statement.
“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.”
“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 statement read in part.
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