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Hijab: Lagos PS Urges School Principals to Be Professional

…Calls For Parents’ Patience 

LAGOS, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) –  Despite still awaiting the official directive from the authority, a Tutor General/Permanent Secretary (TG/PS), Education District 1, Lagos State, Dr. Yinka Ayandele has called on the schools’ principals to be “professional” in the manner they handle issues relating to wearing of Hijab by the female students in their schools.

Similarly, she called on the parents and guardians, especially those willing that their wards should wear the Hijab, to be cooperative and exercise patience, until the necessary instructions are given, as well as the “interpretation of law” relating to Hijab wearing in schools is done.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with the AFRICAN EXAMINER in her Agege office, Dr. Ayandele said she would not “debar” any child from exercising or enjoying his/her fundamental human rights, but said in spite of this, she would not allow giving right to one child to “infringe” upon another’s right.

When asked why the lack of compliance to the July 21, 2016 Lagos Appeal Court ruling in her district, she responded that she disliked any development that would create friction or disturb the existing cordial relationship among the teachers and the students.

She said her priority was to ensure that, learning in schools was effective; for the students to learn under a conducive atmosphere and ultimately, to put up an excellent academic performance.

Dr. Ayandele recalled prior to resumption for the new academic session, she instructed the Principals in her district to ensure that the students were in good spirit, as well as instructed them to allow professionalism in the way they manage issues bothering on Hijab wearing in their respective schools.

Asked to be specific, Dr. Ayandele maintained: “for the children who love to use Hijab, they must exercise patience with us, to hear from the State Government” adding “any grey area must be clarified; we need to hear from the head”.

“The authority concerned in the matter is the State Ministry of Education; we must hear from there; the instruction must come from there.

“The use of Hijab must be within the confine of the law. Whether we are going to use Hijab or not, let us hear the interpretation of the law; let us hear from the Ministry of Education” the TG restated.

While explaining that issues like teachers’ capacity building is the responsibility of the Ministry, Dr. Ayandele disclosed that effective management of the available resources, in such a way to ensure good academic performance and sporting activities in schools were her responsibility. She added that these were her priorities.

She however admitted that religion is good, yet, must be practiced within the ambit of the law.

Again, when told about the pending appeal against the last ruling before the Supreme court, as well as the stay of execution motion filed by the State Government and the need to allow the ruling to be implemented, Dr. Ayandele replied that she is aware about the developments, but insisted the instructions from the “highest authority” must be received.

Dr. Ayandele however declared that she did not want the matter to be escalated, saying that she appreciated every faith.

When told that other district Heads allowed the use of Hijab in schools under them, the TG said every individual has different approaches to issues, still, pointed out that the Principals are administrators, therefore, should be able to apply discretion in the matter.

“What I want is the smooth running of schools; therefore, the Principals should know how to handle the situation”, Dr. Ayandele repeated.

There are six Educational districts in Lagos, each representing divisions in the State. District 1 comprises three local government areas, including Agege (the base); Alimosho and Ifako Ijaiye Council areas.


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