Hijab saga: Kwara govt to punish staff who fail to resume

Abdurrahman Abdurrazaq, Kwara State governor

The Kwara State Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) has directed the principals, teachers and staff of the 10 schools shut down over the hijab controversy to report at the schools on Friday or face disciplinary actions.

The Executive Chairperson of the commission, Bello Abubakar, said the teachers must resume to prepare their final year students for their external examinations.

The directive was contained in a statement signed by the spokesperson of TESCOM, Amogbonjaye Peter.

“Mallam Bello said any staff that failed to report to their duty would face the full wrath of the law as the government will not condone any act of insubordination.

“Alhaji Abubakar also warned all stakeholders against taking law into their hands, stressing that the peace meeting continues between the government and the stakeholders,” the statement read.

He said the government regretted the inconveniences the shutdown might have caused the students, saying that the action was taken in the interest of peace.

For nearly a month, the use of hijab in the grant-aided schools has generated a controversy amongst members of two religious communities in the state— which later led to the closure of ten schools.

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The affected schools are C&S College, Sabo-Oke; St. Anthony’s Secondary School, Offa Road; ECWA School, Oja Iya; Surulere Baptist Secondary School, and Bishop Smith Secondary School, Agba Dam.

Others are CAC Secondary School, Asa Dam road; St. Barnabas Secondary School, Sabo-Oke; St. John School Maraba; St. Williams Secondary School, Taiwo Isale, and St. James Secondary School, Maraba.

The state government had set up a committee to resolve the misunderstanding and later resolved that Muslim students have a right to use the hijab if they so wish.

The government said the schools have been declared government-owned by the Federal High Court and Court of Appeal.

The controversy degenerated into a clash on Wednesday at Baptist Secondary School, Surulere and some other schools.

The police spokesperson in the state, Ajayi Okasanmi, however, stated that the security agency will not tolerate the reoccurrence of the clash.

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