Students of one of the affected schools are now wearing Hijab 1280x720 1

Lagos govt directs schools to allow use of hijab, compliance with supreme court decision

The Lagos State Government has directed statewide schools to obey the decision of the supreme Court which mandates them to allow Muslim students putting on hijab to attend classes. 

Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola, the Head of Service, mentioned this in a circular released on Monday.

The HoS directed the information contained in the circular to heads of various institutions and bodies.

The information also communicates public, and private schools, as it was a decision enforced by the outcome of the apex court.

According to the statement: “Supreme Court Judgement On The Use Of Hijab In Lagos State Schools: It is hereby notified for general information that the Supreme Court Judgement SC.910/2016 delivered on the 17th of June, 2022 on the use of Hijab as it affects Pupils/Students in Lagos State Schools has declared that Students should be allowed to wear the Hijab if desired.

“A Comprehensive Guideline on the use of Hijab in Schools will be issued by the State Government in due course, however, you are to note that the judgement is binding on all schools in the State.

“As a law-abiding administration, all Accounting Officers are to note the contents of this Circular for immediate compliance and give it the deserved Service-wide publicity.”

The Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC), Nigeria, while reacting to the issue, said it was a resounding victory which will put to rest all manners of discrimination.

The senior admin officer of the organization, Fatimah Sanni in a statement, called on the State government to compensate Muslim students who had suffered certain victimisation for putting on hijab in schools. in a statement released by Fatimah Sanni, MPAC Senior Admin Officer.

The statement reads: The Lagos State Government had fought tooth and nail to ensure that hijab-wearing female students in its public secondary schools were excluded from public-funded education in Lagos State or forced to make a choice between observing a constitutionally protected right to freedom of religious expression and accessing public education. The government was defeated in court all the way to the Supreme Court and shown to be a serial violator of a constitutional guarantee.

“Congratulations to the Muslim students who bore the brunt of the discriminatory policy for so long, and many Muslim organizations that created a common front, and stood shoulder-to-shoulder for many years, to end the abuse and discrimination.

“This is a huge relief to parents and students and we hope the circular will be seen by all stakeholders, particularly those responsible for implementing it, as a necessary policy statement of the State Government.

“We hope the state government will ensure that resources are allocated to roll back the impacts of long years of discrimination and abuses against hijab in the schools and bring about a change of heart and mind amongst those who had brutally (or violently) enforced the discriminatory policy. It is time to work together and make our educational institutions truly inclusive and free of bigotry.”

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