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Hijab controversy: Kwara state government deploys task force to mission schools


Despite the ongoing hijab controversy, the Kwara State Government, on Friday, deployed a task force to implement its directive to reopen all schools in the state.

It would be recalled that following the reopening of all schools on Wednesday, the grant-aided mission schools maintained that the use of hijab was prohibited, a development that led to clashes between Muslims and Christians.

Similarly, the state Teaching Service Commission, on Thursday, had directed teachers of the affected schools to report to their respective schools on Friday.

However, some of the affected schools locked out staff and students, saying their gates will only be opened if the state government rescinded its decision on wearing of hijab in Christian mission schools.

A statement from the Press Secretary in the state Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, Yakub Ali-Agan, in a statement on Friday said:

“The schools were opened by a government task force which moved round the metropolis to ensure that the directive is followed and that teachers and students are protected and allowed to begin academic activities.

“At Cherubim and Seraphim College, Sabo Oke, Ilorin, some church leaders locked and barricaded the entrance to the college until government officials escorted by security officials opened the school gate. At Baptist LGEA primary and secondary schools, Surulere, Ilorin, everything went on peacefully with teachers and students seen in their classrooms.

“The government task force, led by officials from the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development and the Teaching Service Commission, reassured members of the public, especially parents and teachers, that the unfortunate incident of Wednesday had been put behind the state and that the schools are safe for schoolchildren to resume learning in earnest.”

According to Ali-Agan, the task force said the government would continue to engage all stakeholders to remain law-abiding and peaceful.

C&S College, Sabo Oke; St. Anthony College, Offa Road; ECWA School, Oja Iya; Surulere Baptist Secondary School; and Bishop Smith Secondary School, Agba Dam were among schools closed by the government.

Others were CAC Secondary School, Asa Dam; St. Barnabas Secondary School, Sabo Oke; St. John School Maraba; St. Williams Secondary School, Taiwo Isale; and St. James Secondary School, Maraba, all in Ilorin, the state capital.

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