The Kwara State Government late on Tuesday night ordered the reopening of 10 mission schools shut down over the controversy surrounding the government policy on the use of hijab in such schools.
The reopening of the schools from Wednesday, March 17, 2021, was announced in a statement issued by Mrs. Mary Kemi Adeosun, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development.
The schools are C&S College, ST. Anthony College, ECWA School, Surulere Baptist Secondary School, Bishop Smith Secondary School, CAC Secondary School, St. Barnabas Secondary School, St. John School, St. Williams Secondary School and St. James Secondary School.
The Kwara government maintained its opposition that it would allow willing Muslim schoolgirls to wear their hijab in public schools.
According to the government, this would lead to sustainable peace and communal harmony anchored on mutual respect and understanding.
“This path to mutual respect, understanding, and peace with regards to hijab had long been adopted in all of the northern Nigeria and many states in the Southwest such as Lagos, Osun, Ekiti, and Oyo States,” the statement read.
“As the students resume normal classes, the government took special notice of the plight of those of them preparing for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination and hereby directs affected schools to hold at least two-hour extra lesson for all the intending candidates after school hours daily.
“The government will provide light lunch for the students until the beginning of their exams while teachers allotted for the extra coaching will get stipends for their efforts.
“This is to bring the students up to speed ahead of the impending external examination. The closure of the schools was necessary to forestall security breaches which may affect lives and properties.”
The Kwara State government also commended the Christian and Muslim leaders for their understandings and their efforts to build peace within their respective communities in the past weeks.