The International School Ibadan (ISI), University of Ibadan, has been closed indefinitely following a controversy over the use of hijab.
The closure was announced through a notice posted in the school’s premises on Monday.
“Notice: The International School, University of Ibadan has been closed down until further notice. Please, take note,” the notice read.
The controversy was prompted by the school’s banning of the use of hijab by female Muslim students.
Following the school’s closure, some pro-hijab protesters stormed the premises to express their displeasure.
A group of parents under the aegis of International School Ibadan Muslim Parents’ Forum (ISMPF) had written a protest letter to Phebean Olowe, the principal, demanding that their female wards be allowed to wear hijab.
But the school management claimed that the wearing of hijab contravenes the dress code of the school which was established in 1963.
Abideen Aderinto, UI deputy vice-chancellor, academic, says the school will not accept the approach being used by the parents.
“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,” he said in a statement.
“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 guide 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. I appeal to these people to stop their action and allow peace to reign in the school.”
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