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Hijab crisis: UI International school reopens

Management and stakeholders have agreed to the reopening of the International School Ibadan (ISI) following an agreement to maintain its dress code for now.

Academic activities at the school were halted for two weeks after  some Muslim parents insisted that their daughters must be allowed to wear hijab while other parents kicked against their approach, saying it could divide the children.

On Friday, a meeting presided over by Prof. Idowu Olayinka, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan which owns the secondary school, saw the extensive discussion that led to an agreement to maintain the school’s dress code for now. Principal Officers of the university, deans, Council members, the principal of the school, and the three Vice principals attended the meeting.

A statement issued by the Deputy Vice Chancellor and Chairman, Board of Governors of ISI, Prof. Adeyinka Aderinto, on Sunday appealed to all parents to respect the outcome of the meeting which agreed on the maintenance of the status quo as contained in the school rules and regulations.

The statement read in part: “Individuals or groups that may seek a change in the dress code, or any other aspect of the rules of the school should follow the due process of requesting for such but the final decision on any such change still lies with the Board of Governors.

“Adequate measures should be put in place to forestall breakdown of law and order in the school.

In another statement entitled “As we Reopen, Let this House Remain One” and addressed to the parents/guardians, Prof. Aderinto appreciated them for their patience, understanding and roles they played as individuals and as groups towards ensuring that the school reopens for normal academic activities.

He said: “As we reopen, I want us all to commit to peace, for it is only in an atmosphere of peace that we can carry out our responsibilities of providing good education to our children. Let us not allow the events of the last one week or so, cause any disaffection among us. I plead that we reunite in the interest of our children, who have been studying together as one big family. It is also only when we reunite that other challenges facing the school can be confronted, and surmounted.

“The Board of Governors and the School Management have been committed towards improving the performance of our children in ISI. Although, we recorded an almost 100% pass in our last two WAEC Examinations, we feel that we are not yet where we should be, which is for our students to record As in all their subjects. This was the case some years back, when ISI ranked among the top three secondary schools in the whole of the country. We are positive that those glorious years will return, with all the efforts that are currently being undertaken.

“As you may also be aware, our Vice Chancellor recently commissioned some projects in the school executed by some class sets of Ex-ISIs. Another set also laid the foundation for the construction of a block of classrooms to be completed and commissioned sometimes next year when the set will be celebrating their 30 years anniversary of their graduation from into ISI. I am aware that work is steadily progressing on the project. These are among the many other positive interventions that the school has experienced over the years. I appreciate the efforts of our alumni and those of our parents as individuals and under the auspices of the Parent/Teachers Association, and others who have assisted the school in maintaining the greatness and fame for which the school is known.

“I have taken some time to highlight some of these impactful interventions because they were accomplished in a spirit of that one big ISI family. It is that peace and oneness of purpose that I plead with you to allow to continue to guide our actions. Let us continue to abide by the rules and regulations of the school, and follow the due process in our attempts at seeking change in any aspect of the rules of the school. This is a humble plea from the heart. Let us remember that ISI is a legacy that we inherited, and which we must pass on to generations coming after us.

“May Almighty God continue to help our children to learn, play and share together so that the wonderful world He has made becomes more beautiful everyday.”

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