The Lagos State Government has approved the use of hijab in schools across the state.

The approval was contained in a circular dated November 13, 2018, which provided guidelines for wearing the hijab on school uniforms, pending the determination of the case in the Supreme Court.

According to the circular, students will be "allowed to wear Hijabs on school uniforms but same must be short, smart, neat and in the colour of the school uniform (skirt)".

The statement continued: "Furthermore, schools management are advised to downplay comments and disciplinary actions on the use of smart Hijabs until the final determination of the case by the Supreme Court."

Responding to the move by the state government, the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State Area Unit, commended the Lagos State Government.

A press statement by Dr Saheed Ashafa, the President of the MSSN Lagos, noted that "the circular would help to stop harassment and victimisation of female Muslim students for wearing hijab".

He said: “We extol this gesture and the resoluteness of the state government in ensuring that an avoidable strife do not find ways into the peaceful atmosphere being enjoyed in Lagos State.

“We are pleased with this development because the embarrassing way and manner that our members are being victimised, harassed, punished and denied entrance into their classrooms for wearing hijab would stop. 

“We have constantly told the state government that while a case on the hijab is awaiting final verdict at the Supreme Court, no teacher has the right to punish female pupils for wearing hijab. The Appeal Court in the case clearly states that wearing hijab by students, whether within or outside the school premises, was a fundamental Human Right entrenched in the constitution. 

“It is important to notify you that we will not allow further lawlessness and flagrant disregard for rule of law to stay after this circular. The circular would also help to stop the abuse of rights, which could have degenerated into crisis or violence that may lead to the disruption of activities in schools in our dear state.

“We commend this intervention aimed at calling teachers, principals and tutor general to order. This circular approving wearing of hijab by students on their school uniform within and outside school premises, will ensure peace and order in our schools and stability in the state’s education system.”

He subsequently encouraged female Muslim students to be confident, smart and neat while putting on the hijab, just as he urged them to "remain law abiding and be good ambassadors of the religion of peace".
 

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