Some parents of students at the University of Ibadan International School on Wednesday declared that the current dress code in the school has no religious colouration.
They made this declaration when the parents under the umbrella of “Concerned Parents” stormed the office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), University of Ibadan, Professor Yinka Aderinto, to protest against the closure of the school.
The protesting parents, who gathered at the UI admin block as early as 7.30 am on Wednesday, displayed placards and condemned the actions of some parents who insisted on the use of Hijab by female Muslim students.
Some Muslim parents under the umbrella of ISI Muslim Parents’ Forum had in a letter addressed to the school principal, Mrs. Phebean Olowe argued that Hijab wearing is a right of the female students under the Nigerian constitution.
The refusal of the school to allow the use of Hijab has lead to series of crises which later culminated into indefinite closure of the school on Monday.
But, the parents who spoke under the umbrella of “Concerned Parents” accused the Muslim parents of attempting to disrupt the school’s academic activities.
The protesting parents called for the school to be reopened and adequate security provided for their children, especially as students were about to begin internal and external examinations.
The parents, in their letter signed by the trio of Olalekan Thanni, Awosanmi Abe and Olusola Aleshinloye, a copy which was obtained, said, “We wish to state that the current dress code/uniform of the students of ISI, which has been in use since inception (about 55 years ago), has no religious coloration, is good enough and sufficient to fulfill our moral obligations to the children.
“It should not be a subject of discussion out of the jurisdiction of the constituted Board of Governors as done by this Muslim Parents Forum.
“The unfortunate events of the past one week have serious implications on learning, psyche and social environment in the school.
“For instance, it is obvious that the divisive action like the religious colouration of the school uniform may promote discrimination and foster disunity. While these Muslim parents appear comfortable with confrontation, strife and violence, we wish they could be helped to realize that this stance is injurious to the psyche of children.
“We all owe our children the responsibility of raising them up as law abiding citizens, who have utmost respect for constituted authority and do all to uphold same and not otherwise, under whatever guise”.
Aderinto while responding promised to ensure that the matter was resolved peacefully.
He appealed to all sides in the crisis to exercise restraint and avoid words or actions that may further inflame the situation.