By Naqiba Mohammed
The Kwara state government on Sunday 11th of April 2021, announced the resumption date of the 10 schools shut down due to the hijab crisis to resume today Monday April 12 2021.
This was contained in a statement released by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education and Human capital development, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.
Adesou said the resumption was to make up for the time lost while the school was shut down.
It was however observed that normalcy have returned to the schools as some of the schools visited by UCJ-UNILORIN reporter such as Cherubim & Seraphim College, Sabo Oke and St James Junior Secondary School, Maraba, had their Muslim female students on hijab and going about their normal school activities.
Although not all the schools have reopened as St Barnabas secondary school, Sabo Oke was still under lock and key as at the time of this report.
It can be recalled that the hijab crisis occurred on Feb 19 2021, following the approval of the use of hijab by the state government to allow Muslim female students who are willing to use their hijab in government schools. The approval however was not welcomed by some schools hence resulted in violence which led to the closure of the schools involved in the controversy by the state government.
Speaking with the acting principal of C&S college, Mrs. Yemi Adedayo, on the situation of things in the school, she affirmed that the situation had returned to normal. In her words: “Usually, we were all relating on a normal level before the government pronouncement, the government can make any decision at any time and we are to abide by it, we still relate well amongst the staff. Things like that, when they happen, it takes time for whatever might have caused disenchantment between the government and the schools to settle. As it is, I think the government is still talking with the stakeholders concerning that.”, Adedayo said.
The principal also stated that they had been making efforts to prevent further religious issues among the students.
“We are trying our best to make sure that for now there are no gatherings aside from school academic work, that can lead to anyone stepping on the other person’s toes, we talk to them on discipline, discipline is the most important thing that other things would follow.
“Once you know that you are to cohabit and that you are here purposely to study and to be given moral education, everybody would maintain their religious beliefs.
Prince Well Nnadoziem, an SS3 student of C&S college, Sabo Oke confirmed that they had earlier resumed before the Easter break. In his words narrating how the first day was, he explained that “Everywhere was calm although they were speculations about people coming in with hijab but later, we discovered that it has been ruled by the supreme Court that the schools should go on with hijab, since it has been diverted to government schools, everywhere was peaceful, the atmosphere was calm and there was no dispute.
“The issue of the hijab crisis has been something that has been underneath the table before, it just escalated to this”, he added.
A parent identified as Mr. Isiaka Salaudeen, who came to drop his ward at the school said he had to come and see the situation for himself when he heard about the reopening of schools. He further expressed his pleasure over the approval of the use of hijab by the state government.
Other schools that were shut down and to be reopened today are; St Anthony Secondary school, Offa Road, ECWA school, Ọja iya, Surulere Baptist secondary school, CAC secondary school, Asa dam Road, Bishop Smith secondary school, Àgbà dam, St Williams secondary school Taiwo isalẹ and St James secondary school Maraba all located in the Kwara state capital.