Hijab Controversy: UI School Board Retains Dress Code

The Board of Governors of the International School, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, has decided that the dress code of the school will be maintained.

The board, which came out with this after a meeting presided over by Prof. Adeyinka Aderinto, on Wednesday, stated that the management had the right to enforce the dress code that was contained in the rules and regulations of the school.

The board urged parents to abide by the rules of the school to enable the institution to fulfil its mandate of providing sound education for the pupils.
The old student’s association of the school also said that the controversy over the wearing of hijab should be viewed through the lens of principles and laws governing the institution and not through the lens of religion.

A mail sent to Aderinto by the President of the University of Ibadan International School Old Students Association, Tive Ekpere, stated that the uniform policy was introduced to address socioeconomic inequalities, discourage segregation and minimise distractions to academic activities.

Ekpere noted that the uniform was unique and was the fabric that had bound the ISI culture and tradition till date, adding that the existing policy on the school uniform should be reviewed and interpreted accordingly.

According to him, agitators for hijab must note that the ISI is a private school being governed by its own policies, laws and regulations.

He stated, “The International School Ibadan 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 is a centre where children are brought to learn from one another with the aim of finding their common humanity.

“The uniform policy was introduced to disabuse socio-economic inequalities, discourage segregation and minimise distractions to academic activities. The uniform is unique and is the fabric that has bound cultures and traditions till date. Beyond this, the association wishes to advise that all overt religious activities on the school campus should be discouraged henceforth.

Ekpere added, “While we believe that every student should be free to practise whatever religion they wish, we are also persuaded that the exercise of such rights must be carried out within the bounds of civility. Within these bounds of civility, what cannot be condoned are actions being taken by a select few that could potentially jeopardise the comfort and safety of all ISI students and teachers.

“The ISI, as we believe, has one mandate and that is to deliver quality education to every single student in the school, and nothing more.”

However, the Muslim Community of Oyo State on Wednesday said there was no going back on the quest to implement the use of hijab by willing Muslim female students in the ISI.

The Muslim Parents’ Forum, which was dissatisfied with the resolutions of the board of governors to halt the wearing of hijab by students of the school at an emergency meeting on Tuesday, vowed to ensure that female Muslim students to wear hijab.

Members of the forum asked the Federal Government and the National Assembly not to waste time by intervening in the crisis before it escalates.

They made their position known at a joint press conference organised by the forum in conjunction with the state Muslim community.

The Secretary General, Muslim Community of Oyo State, Sheik Ismail Busari, stressed the need for the Federal Government, the National Assembly, the state government and the management of the University of Ibadan to intervene in the matter to avoid an escalation of the crisis.

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