The Lagos state government has given an approval to Muslim female pupils to use hijab in public schools.
This was announced in a circular by the state’s area unit of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN).
In October 2014, a Lagos high court ruled against the use of hijabs in schools, a judgment that was upturned by an appeal court in July 2016.
The appeals court in a unanimous judgment noted that the ban was discriminatory against Muslim pupils in Lagos state.
Dissatisfied with the appellate court’s ruling, the state government took the case to the supreme court and subsequently placed a ban on the use of hijab in August 2018.
However, in a new circular, the state government asked that the status quo be maintained in order to avoid contempt of court.
The new circular said the hijab must be “short, smart, neat and in the same colour of the uniform (skirt).
“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),” the circular read.
“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.”