Nigeria’s commercial state of Lagos on Tuesday approved the wearing of hijab, Muslim headscarves to public schools.
The issue of hijab had been the subject of litigation in the past going as far as the Appeal Court. The court in 2016 ordered that females be allowed to wear the hijab to school.
The state government is on record to have appealed the ruling. The government set up a panel to look into recent controversies that erupted in the wake of students being barred from entring a school premises in September 2018.
“Since the case on the use of Hijab in Lagos State (schools) is still pending at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, status quo should be maintained to avoid contempt of court…
“… that is, students must be allowed to wear hijabs on school uniforms but same must be short, smart and neat and in the colour of the school uniform (skirt),” a communique read in part.
A copy of the circular also indicated that the government was willing to ensure compliance to the new directive by asking school officials to avoid comments that could jeopardise the law.
“Furthermore, school managements are advised to downplay comments and disciplinary actions on the use of smart Hijabs until the final determination of the case by the Supreme Court,” it added.
The main students body in Nigeria, the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria, MSSN have since reacted to the latest development calling it a victory for a long struggle.
A non-governmental organization, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, also congratulated the state government adding in a tweet that the decision was courageous and a victory for the right thing.
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, congratulates the Lagos State Government for its courage in approving the use of the Muslim Hijab in public schools. It's a victory for the right thing.
— NSCIA (@NSCIAng) November 14, 2018