The Lagos State Government has lifted ban on the use of the hijab on uniforms in Lagos public schools.
This was contained in a statement signed by A.O Olukoya for Tutor General/Permanent Secretary.
The statement reads in part: “Since the case of the use of hijab i n 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 hijab 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 hijab 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 sensitised to comply accordingly. You are enjoined to adhere strictly to these recommendations.”
Reacting to the news, Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State Area Unit, Dr. Saheed Ashafa has hailed the Lagos State Government for upholding the rule of law.
Ashafa said the circular would stop harassment and victimisation of Muslim pupils for wearing hijab.
He recalled that despite the Appeal Court judgement, the pupils were punished and denied entrance into classrooms for wearing hijab.
With the statement issued, Ashafa said the government has towed the path of honour.
He said: “We extol this gesture and the resoluteness of the state government in ensuring that an avoidable strife does not find ways into the peaceful atmosphere being enjoyed in the state.
“We are pleased with this development because the embarrassing way and manner that our members are being subjected to for wearing hijab would stop.
“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 pupils for wearing hijab. The Appeal Court clearly states that wearing hijab by pupils within or outside the school premises was a fundamental human rights entrenched in the constitution.”