Tension as masquerades storm troubled Osun school

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  • 24 students suspended indefinely over indiscipline

BY GBENGA OLARINOYE

OSOGBO—For two days running, tension continues to mount in Iwo, Osun state as situation at Baptist High School, Iwo yesterday took a new dimension when some students of the school mobilized masquerades to the school .

The students of the school, it was gathered also appeared in masquerade attire and prevented academic activities in the school for several hours.
The masquerades, it was gathered were mobilized to the school by some students with the collaboration of some traditionalists in the town as various religious organizations have taken interest in the crisis rocking the education sector in he state.

Confusion over different school uniforms
The students of the school on Tuesday caused confusion in the school as they appeared in different clothes that correlate with their religious beliefs.
While the Christian students who wore white garments sown into choir gowns sang Christian songs, the Muslim students who appeared in veil on the other hand sang Islamic songs.

The state government last year introduced same uniform for all the secondary school students in the state and also legalised the use of veil (hijab) in public schools.
The Christian Community, especially the Osun Baptist Conference protested against the decision then but the protest was ineffective as the government failed to reverse the policy.

Pockets of crises had been recorded at the Baptist High School, Iwo over the use of veil (hijab) by female Muslim students.
It was gathered that security personnel stormed the school yesterday to prevent breakdown of law and order, even as officials of the state Ministry of Education were seen in the school taking measures to prevent further crisis.

24 students suspended
Meantime, authorities of the school have suspended 24 of the students indefinitely for alleged immoral, cult activities and disruption of academic programme in the school.
The suspension of the affected students followed the investigation conducted by the institution’s authority where it was discovered that the students actullay belong to cult group.

Though, teachers in the school declined to comment on the matter, it was gathered that the students comprising both sexes were said to have committeed several atrocities including locking up teachers within the school premises for hours.

NUT chairman backs suspension
The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, in the state who also doubles as the State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Alhaji Saka Adesiyan while speaking on the matter said the suspension order served on the affected students would serve as deterrent to others.

Adesiyan who described the incident as unfortunate said different groups and clubs now spring up in secondary schools thereby having negative effect on others and denting secondary school image in the state.
He explained that the suspension order came after the state government set up a disciplinary committee to look into causes of crises in public schools, stressing the need for teachers, parents and guadians to join hands with government in instilling discipline in the students.

According to him, the crisis being witnessed in the school recently has religious and political undertone which should be nipped in the bud without delay in the interest of the country’s future.

Teachers tasked
Adesiyan called on tecahers especially NUT chairmen in all the local government councils of the state to be up and doing by reporting happenings in their schools to the appropriate authorities.

 

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