The events unfolding in Osun State have once more shone the light on the stark reality of the nature of the nation’s problems.
Following a court order granting Muslim pupils the right to show up in classrooms attired in hijabs, the local Christian body CAN had instructed parents to send their wards to school wearing religious regalia.
I recall telling a friend that the court judgement will open the floodgates of sectarian tension and today, reports have emerged that some students wore Cherubim and Seraphim robes to school. I expect that naturally, Sango worshippers and adherents of other traditional religions will assert their own rights in due time.
Here are my views on this matter:
- Freedom of religion can coexist with classroom learning.
- Where pupils and staff wish not to wear uniforms on account of sincerely held religious beliefs, I think schools can accommodate them as long as their dressing does not hinder learning.
- School uniforms are a way to enforce equality in schools and prevent segregation which can negatively impact the growth of young people in society. They have been mandatory for as long as I can remember.
However, since parents have insisted that pupils must practise their faith even in classrooms, I don’t think school authorities have any other choice but to permit them. Since Muslim pupils can now wear hijabs without fear of persecution, other religious groups should be able to do so as well.
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