UI school shut down indefinitely as hijab crisis heightens

By: Segun Ogunlade

The International School, Ibadan, has been closed down indefinitely due to the ongoing call by some Muslim parents that hijab should be allowed for use by female Muslim students during official school hours.

In what could be termed  a comeback of display of grievances after it seemed like everything had died down following the statement released by the Board of Governors in the early hours of Thursday after its emergency sitting on Wednesday, stating that the dressing and appearance of the students would not be changed and any parents who felt slighted should withdraw their kids, some Muslim parents and Muslim youths showed up at the school gate in the early hours of Monday carrying placards and banners demanding for hijab to be allowed for use by Muslim students.

According to them, the use of hijab is a fundamental human right that should not be denied the students as its use is one of the prescribed dressings for Muslim women.

Two vans from the Security unit of the university barricaded the entrance to the school, thereby not allowing any car go into the school premises while the security personnel moved the protesters away from the premises to forestall the breakdown of peace and order.

Following this development, it is doubtful if the first term examination of the school scheduled to start on Monday 26th November, would still be allowed to hold due to shutting out of some students from the school after the cry for the use of hijab began on Monday 12th November, 2018, culminating in all of students of the school being sent home Monday as the number of days the school would be locked up for could not be determined yet.

A section of the parents are not happy with the decision of the school management to shut down the school indefinitely due to the protests because of hijab that they believed should have been optional for the students in the first place while others are concerned that the issue would further widen the gulf of religious differences between the students many of whom they believed are not supposed to be brought into such religious crisis at such a young age.

As at the time of this report, which was 11.30am, no student was seen around the school premises, the last set of parents were seen leaving in their cars.

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