Hijab: DVC breaks silence over cancellation of assembly, classes in UI School; appeals to Muslim parents

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The Deputy Vice Chancellor, (Academic), University of Ibadan, Professor Abideen Yinka Aderinto, has reacted to the cancellation of morning assembly and classes at the University of Ibadan International School over wearing of Hijab by some female Muslim students on Monday.

DAILY POST recalls that academic activities at the school were paralysed on Monday when some female Muslim students wore the Hijab to the school. This development prompted the management of the school to cancel the morning assembly and classes that supposed to start by 8.am.

Our correspondent also recalls that some parents, under the umbrella of International School Ibadan Muslim Parents’ Forum had, in letter addressed to the principal of the school, Mrs. Phebean Olowe, a copy of which was obtained by DAILY POST, argued that “Hijab wearing for young Muslim girls, apart from the fact that it is part of their religious belief, is part of their God given fundamental human right as well as the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.

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), also copied the Chancellor of the University of Ibadan and Sultan of Sokoto, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, The Chairman, ISI Parents Teachers Association, ISI, Vice – Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Deputy Vice – Chancellor (Academic), University of Ibadan, Registrar, University of Ibadan, Chairman, University of Ibadan Muslim Community, Chief Imam, University of Ibadan Muslim Community, Minister, Federal Ministry of Education, Commissioner, Oyo State Ministry of Education, Executive Secretary, Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN), Chairman, Muslim Community of Oyo State, President, Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), President, Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN), President, Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN), President, Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), President, Muslim Rights Council (MURIC) and Chairman, Hijab Advocacy Groups.

However, the DVC, while reacting to the development stated that “the jungle approach being used by the parents will not be tolerated”.

Aderinto, who also doubles as the Chairman Court of Governors of the school stated that “the school is a private school and not run by any kobo from government”.

The DVC in the statement sent to DAILY POST Monday evening explained that while he received the letter on the 9 of November, 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.

Aderinto said, “I am the Chairman of the court of Governors and I am a proud Muslim. ISI is a private school. UI does not fund it. It is funded by the fees collected. It is unfortunate that this is coming up now. Even the Parents Teacher Association is not aware of the idea by this group.

“Indeed, some other Muslim parents expressed shock when they heard about this forum. Since its establishment in 1963, the school has not experienced any religious crisis and we would want to guard against it. The Muslim and Christian students have a place to worship in the school.

“Whoever is desired to change the rules should go through the process. The teachers do not feel safe and so could not have taught anybody because it is a strange development”.

Aderinto concluded by appealing to the parents to allow peace to reign in the school.

He said, “I appeal to these people to stop their action and allow peace to reign in the school. It is even strange that this matter was not discussed at the Parents Teachers Association at all headed by another Muslim and lawyer Barrister Kazeem Olaniyan.”

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