Kwara govt shuts 10 schools over hijab controversy

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School girls in hijab [Picture used for illustrative purpose]
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The Kwara State government, on Friday, ordered immediate closure of ten grant aided schools in Ilorin, the state capital over hijab controversy.

Earlier in the week, videos emerged on social media of students being forced to remove their Hijab before entering their schools in the Muslim-majority state.

The schools will remain closed pending the resolution of the controversy in the schools.

They are C&S College, Sabo Oke; St Anthony College, Offa Road; ECWA School, Oja Iya; Surulere Baptist School, Bishop Smith Secondary School, Agba Dam; St Barnabas Secondary School, Sabo Oke; St John School, Maraba; St Williams Secondary School, Taiwo Isale and James Secondary School, Maraba.

The hijab controversy has triggered a faceoff between Muslims and Christians in grant aided schools in the state capital.

The closure is coming as a government committee raised on Thursday, comprising Muslim and Christian communities met on Friday to iron out differences between them on the question of hijab.

A statement by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, Mrs Mary Kemi Adeosun, in Ilorin, on Friday, “appealed for calm and urged parents and religious leaders to avoid actions or comments capable of further splitting the two communities.”

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“Further communication will be issued to inform members of the public on the development,” the statement added.

The state government at a marathon meeting on Thursday, set up a new committee aimed at resolving the differences on the hijab question in grant aided schools.

The meeting attended by religious leaders from both Muslim and Christian communities, was presided over by the Deputy Governor, Kayode Alabi, who “appealed to all the leaders to respect their differences, live, love and join hands to raise a generation of children who will see one another as compatriots.”

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