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Kwara grant-aided schools remain shut in spite of government’s opening pronouncement

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The grant-aided mission schools in Ilorin which Kwara State government ordered to reopen on Wednesday are still shut as at Thursday.

A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that eight out of the 10 schools visited were under lock except one.

Church members of some of the mission grant-aided schools were seen outside the gates clad in various uniforms with placards and musical instruments singing and dancing.

There was the presence of security personnel in the schools to avert any violence that might erupt.

Schools visited were St. Barnabas Secondary School, St John Secondary School, Maraba, and Bishop Smith Secondary School, Agba Dam.

Others were C & S Secondary School, St Anthony’s Secondary school, Surulere Baptist LGEA School and St Joseph Secondary School, Maraba.

At ECWA Secondary School, Oja Iya, however, academic activities have resumed with students already receiving lectures.

Some of the students wore their Hijab, the bone of contention, while others wore berets.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the schools were closed on Feb. 19 over misunderstanding in the usage of Hijab (Islamic female veil) in public schools.

The government set up a committee to resolve the dispute and later asked the schools to resume on March 8 with willing female students allowed to use the Hijab.

The government, however, rescinded its decision to reopen the schools on the same day over safety concerns as some stakeholders frowned at the decision.

This led to the continuous closure of the schools until government announced the reopening in the early hours of Wednesday (March 17).

Some members of the churches owning the schools, prevented Hijab-wearing students from gaining access into the schools on Wednesday, an action which led to a violent situation later brought under control. (NAN)

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