HIJAB CONTROVERSY: University of Ibadan School to reopen Monday

By: Yusuf Akinpelu

After a week of closure, the International School, Ibadan, would reopen on Monday.

This was confirmed in a telephone chat with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of the University of Ibadan, Mr. Abideen Aderinto, who heads the Board of Governors, the highest decision-making body of the school.

During the chat, he stressed the need to maintain normalcy in the school. He added that status quo would be maintained nonetheless.

“Those seeking the change in the dress code of the school or any other school rule must go through due process,” Aderinto said.

“And even as that,” he added, “the ultimate decision still lies with the Board of Governors of the school.”

Asked if students donning their hijab come Monday would be allowed in, the Don simply said: “All I can say is: [the school’s] dress code would be maintained.”

In the same vein, earlier today, parents had received text message signed by the school management informing them of the reopening of the school come Monday.

“This is to inform all students, staff and parents,” the message read, “that ISI, UI will reopen on Monday, 26/11/2018 to continue the first term (2018/2019) session.”

TheEcho had been reported that the school was closed last Monday following the demonstrations by some parents calling for the institutionalization of hijab in the school.

The continuous barring of the hijab-wearing students into the school had sparked the ire of their parents, thereby leading to the demonstration. Though, the school insists on maintaining its dress status quo.

The demonstrators, led by Mr. Ismail Busari, had said the demonstration was carried by them to forestall the tests that were slated for last Monday wherein their hijab wearing children wouldn’t be allowed to partake in.

Before now, however, on Friday, series of meetings have been convened among the Muslim Parents Forum (the Forum that kick-started the demand for wearing of hijab), the University’s Muslim Community, representatives of the Board of Governors and the university management.

It is still not clear whether or not students would resume come Monday with their hijab on. But the Chief Imam of the university, Abdurrahman Oloyede, during his Friday sermon, had advised parents to do otherwise while they settle the matter with university management “now that we have met the Vice Chancellor and he promised to get back to us.”

Be that as it may, the controversy at hand cannot be said to be a resolved matter as certain questions still beg for an answer. Prominent among these questions is whether or not ISI is a private or public school.

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