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ISI shut indefinitely over hijab controversy

By Ola Ajayi
I
BADAN— DESPITE the resolution of relevant stakeholders at a Parents/Teachers Association of the International School Ibadan, University of Ibadan to maintain status quo pending resolution of agitation by some Muslim parents to allow their wards wear Hijab, the Muslim parents still stormed the school, yesterday, with Hijab on their children.

Their alleged refusal to obey the decision of the school management on the issue led to the indefinite closure of the school.

Kids with hijab

In a statement by  Chairman, Board of Governors of the 55 year-old school, Professor Adeyinka Aderinto,  said: “I am reaching you through this medium to apologise for failing to hold classes today (yesterday)and for closing the school to academic activities.

“This was a very difficult decision for me to take on behalf of the Board of Governors, but one which I had to take to prevent further breakdown of law and order.

“You will all recall that we have been battling with a religious crisis since Monday, November 12, 2018, following a letter we received from a body of Muslim Parents notifying us of the commencement of the use of Hijab by female Muslim students.

“You were also aware of the resolutions of the Parents/Teachers Association’s meeting of November 13, 2018, and the decisions of the Board of Governors after a meeting that held on Wednesday, November 14, 2019.

“In the last one week, and particularly over the last weekend, there were many meetings held with the group by concerned individuals and notable Islamic leaders on the need for the group to drop their violent approach, and allow the school activities to proceed without further disruption while lasting solution would continue to be sought by all stakeholders in the ISI project.

“Unfortunately, the group refused to yield to this call by eminent citizens, and continued their agitation, and preventing the school from opening for normal academic activities. It is most unfortunate that our dear children have to be made to go through this experience, but I assure you that the school will come out stronger at the end of it all.

“On the part of the Board of Governors, we are making all efforts to ensure that our children are not kept out of school for long, bearing in mind that our Advance level, SS3 and JSS 3 students will be writing their WAEC examinations early next year.

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“I, therefore appeal to all of you to remain calm while concerted efforts are being made to ensure that we reopen the school very soon.”

While justifying their agitation, the Chairman, Muslim Parents Teachers Association of the school, Mr Abdurrahman Balogun, on a private radio station in Ibadan, yesterday, alleged that out of 49 parents granted audience at the meeting held last week, only five of them were Muslims saying he had to walk out when he was allegedly shouted down when he wanted to air his own view.


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