Students of the school in hijab
Students of the 55-year-old International Secondary School at the University of Ibadan on Monday returned home early as the management of the school locked up the classrooms sequel to the enforcement of hijab use among Muslim students by their parents under the aegis of International School Muslim Parents’ Forum.
As a result, on Tuesday, the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) summoned an emergency meeting to stop an imminent crisis in the school and resolved to channel its resolution to the governing council for a final decision on the matter.
The school, according to some parents who spoke at the meeting, made A class in Senior Secondary School 1 (SS1) for Christian students while B class is meant for Muslim students.
The parents in the letter entitled “Notification of Muslim parents’ resolution on Hijab for our Muslim girls in ISI” signed by Alhaji Abdurrahman Balogun (chairman) and Mrs. Bilikis Badiru (secretary), copied to the Chancellor, University of Ibadan and Sultan of Sokoto, the pro-chancellor and chairman of council, University of Ibadan and many others, insisted that hijab was not meant for every female child but those willing
Reacting to the development, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics, Professor Abideen Aderinto who doubles as the Chairman Court of Governors of the school, stated that the jungle approach being used by the parents would not be tolerated.
Professor Aderinto who said the school is a private one and not run with any kobo from government stated that it has rules governing the dress code which all parents agreed to.
Aderinto explained that after he received the letter on November 9, he held a meeting with the forum on Saturday for more than two hours adding that he was shocked and disappointed that the parents could be frustrating efforts of the management at restoring the glory of the school.
To ensure the crisis was amicably resolved, the Board of Governors of the school rose from its meeting with a resolution that the dress code of the school be maintained.
The board resolved that the dress code as contained in the school’s rules and regulations be maintained while the school management has been empowered to enforce it appropriately.”
The board appealed to parents to abide by the extant rules of the school to enable it fulfill its mandate of providing sound education for children.
The school’s alumni association also said the present controversy must be viewed from the perspective of principles and governing laws of the school and not through religion.
In a mail sent to the chairman, Board of Governors, Professor Aderinto, the president of the association, Tive Ekpere, maintained that the uniform policy was introduced to disabuse socio-economic inequalities, discourage segregation and minimize distraction from academic activities.
Ekpere stated that the agitators must note that the school is a private one and is governed by its own policies, laws and regulations, adding, “The International School Ibadan (ISI) is a secular international school established to admit and provide the best possible education for boys and girls from all over the world; irrespective of their ethnicity, creed, race or religion. It’s a center where children are brought to learn from one another with the aim of finding their common humanity.
“The uniform is unique and is the fabric that has bound ISI culture and tradition till today. Beyond this, the association wishes to advise that all overt religious activities on the school campus be discouraged henceforth. While we believe that every student should be free to practice whatever religion they wish, we are also persuaded that the exercise of such rights must be carried out within the bounds of civility.”