Correcting misconceptions about missionary Schools and Hijaab in Kwara State
The Kwara State Government wishes to once again make clarifications regarding its position on the owner-ship of schools and the question of hijaab.
The Govermment of Kwara State, like in most parts of Nigeria, took control of many schools in 1974.
Original Ownership of these sCchools cut across aitis and private individuals across tne country. Snce the takeover,
the state govern ment has controled, managed, wnoly funded, and started these schools whicn were ran and are still being run as public institutions. Al ot these are backed by vanous state laws, especially the Kwara State Education Law of 1996 (CAP El of the Laws of Kwara State). These laws are very clear about
status of these schools and the rules guiding them Such rules include pluralism in recruitment of students and teachers.
These schools, Deing public-owned, are to adnere to poucies ot government.
Arguments over the years that these schools still belong to either the Muslim or Christian missionaries have been flatly rejected by the court. So, the government totally rejects the claims some organisations are still
laying to these schools because such claims are not known to the law.
That some of these schools retain the names of their founding organisations is purely honorary and in memoriam of their contributions to education.
It does not translate to such missionary bodies owning the schools. This is a matter that has been settled in the Hgh Court of Kwara State and the Court of Appeal
Secondly, the law today is that any wiling Muslim schoolgirl cannot be stopped from wearing Hijaab in public schools.
Anything to the contrary wil be in violent contravention of provisions of section 38 of the constitution.
The Court of Appeal has affirmed this position in at least different declaratory judgments.
The government of Kwara state, a product of democracy and rule of law can not go contrary to the besides the Hijab has question has come under the concept of pluralism and multiculturalism in the global community including the western world states like Ekiti , Osun , Oyo and Lagos have gone through this debate and they all resolved in favour in favour of pluralism
Finaly, it isimportant to clarify that the government is not imposing the hijaab. It is not mandatory for all our schoolgirls to wear hijaab. Rather, the state government approves hijaab for any Muslim schoolgirl who
wishes to use it.
The government is only respecting fundamental human right of those schoolgirls. Nothing more. This has been communicated to all school heads via circular of the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development
We therefore appeal to members of the public and religious organisations to allow peace to reign.
The govemment cautions against comments or conducts that can lead to breakdown of peace and harmony for
which Kwara state and ts people are known over the years.