The 55 – year old International School Ibadan, owned by the University of Ibadan, was on Monday shut .The closure of the secondary school , followed the appearance of some students , dressed in hijab against what the management prescribed as the dress code.
Some parents , under the aegis of the International School Muslim Parents ’ Forum, in a letter dated November 9 , 2018 , and signed by Abdurrhaman Balogun ( chairman) and Bilikis Badiru ( secretary ) , and sent to the Principal of the school , Mrs Phebean Olowe, and the Deputy Vice – Chancellor , Academics , UI , Prof . Abideen Aderinto , stated that they were “ putting the schools ’ management on notice of this resolution on the rights of our female children to commence the use of hijab from this academic session of 2018 / 2019 . ”
The forum argued , “ Hijab – wearing for young Muslim girls , apart from the fact that it is part of their religious belief , is part of their God – given fundamental human right as well as in line with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria . ”
As a result , the classes were shut when some hijab -wearing students were sighted in the school premises as early as 7 am .
Speaking on the development, Aderinto , who doubles as the Chairman , Court of Governors of the school , stated that the jungle approach being used by the parents would not be tolerated.
Aderinto , who said the school was a private institution and not being run from any subvention from the government, stated that it had rules governing dress codes , which all parents agreed to .
The deputy vice – chancellor explained that while he received a letter from the group on November 9 , he held a meeting with members of the forum on Saturday for over two hours , adding that he was shocked and disappointed that the parents could be frustrating the efforts of the management to restore the glory of the school .
He stated , “ I am the Chairman of the Court of Governors and I am a proud Muslim . The ISI is a private school . The UI does not fund it . It is funded by the fees collected . It is unfortunate that this is coming up now . Even the Parent Teachers ’ Association is not aware of the idea of this group .
“ Indeed , some other Muslim parents expressed shock when they heard about this forum . Since its establishment in 1963 , the school has not experienced any religious crisis and we will want to guard against it . The Muslim and Christian students have places of worship in the school . Whoever desires to change the rules should go through the due process . The teachers do not feel safe and so could not have taught anybody , because it was a strange development .
“ I appeal to these people to stop their action and allow peace to reign in the school . It is even strange that this matter was not discussed at the meeting of the Parent Teachers ’ Association headed by another Muslim and lawyer , Mr Kazeem Olaniyan . ”
Balogun, who spoke for the group , however , expressed surprise that the school was shut down because of the female students adorned in hijab .
He maintained that the forum would continue to forge ahead with its agitation until “ our daughters are allowed to wear hijab . ”
About Article Author