The Lagos state government has finally approved the use of Hijab for Muslim female pupils in public schools.
The approval was announced in a circular by the state’s area unit of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN).
A Lagos high court had in October 2014, ruled against the use of hijabs in schools, a judgement that was upturned by an appeal court in July 2016.
In a unanimous judgment, the appeal court noted that the ban was discriminatory against Muslim pupils in Lagos state.
Dissatisfied with the judgement of the Appeal Court, the state government took the case to the Supreme Court.
However, in a new circular, the state government said it would implement the judgement of the appellate court and approved the use of Hijab in public schools.
It however, said the hijab must be “short, smart, neat and in the same colour of the uniform (skirt).
The circular read: “Since the case of the use of Hijab in Lagos State is still pending in the Supreme court of Nigeria, status quo be maintained, to avoid contempt of the court, that is students be allowed to wear Hijabs on school uniforms but same must be short, smart, neat and in the same colour of the uniform (skirt).
“Furthermore, schools management are advised to downplay comments and disciplinary actions on the use of smart Hijabs until the final determination of the case by Supreme Court.
“No student should be discriminated against in any form on the basis of religion.
“All principals and teachers must be sensitized to comply accordingly. You are enjoined to adhere strictly to these recommendations.”
In its reaction, MSSN, in a statement by Saheed Ashafa, its amir in Lagos, said the state government has towed the path of honour.
Ashafa said the circular would help to stop the “harassment and victimisation of female Muslim students for wearing hijab.”