By Modupe Adeloye
The International School Ibadan (ISI) says it will continue to maintain the dress code of the 55-year- old institution.
This was made public as part of the resolutions arrived at after a meeting of the Parent Teacher Association.
There was tension in the school on Monday as the morning assembly had to be suspended following the appearance of some pupils in Hijab.
A group, Muslim Parents Forum, had on Friday petitioned the school’s management, insisting that female students were entitled to the use of Hijab
Although the school’s assembly did not hold on Monday, the students remained within the school’s premises while the gates were shut.
But speaking after the meeting, the Chairman of the Parent Teacher Association, Dr Kazeem Olaniyan, said the forum became necessary in order to forestall a crisis in the school.
He appealed to aggrieved Muslim parents to keep the peace so that the school could move forward.
“Whatever resolutions come out of this is the decision of the Governing Board and not mine,” he said.
He, however, said that some aggrieved parents had written a letter which would be responded to by the Governing Board.
Olaniyan also dismissed reports that the school was shut, saying only the Governing Board could issue such directive.
The chairman also disclosed that the Governing Board would meet on Wednesday to deliberate on the way forward.
“I will not see anything that will divide us and play along, I will rather work for unity,” he said.
He added that there was no crisis before a mosque was built in the school, adding that there was presently no church within the school’s premises.
Olaniyan further explained that Arabic Studies and Islamic Religious Knowledge were introduced in the school without crisis.
Some parents, who spoke on the sidelines of the meeting, said that the status quo on dress code should remain.
“I have lived in the North and I know what crisis can trigger; whoever wants to practise a religion should do so in his or her house
“This is a secular school and we should consider the psychological and social effect of a crisis on our children,’’ Mrs Rasidat Mustapha said.
Mrs Moronfolu Adedoyin, on her part, said “we are too divisive, religion should not be forced down the throat of ISI, there are other contending issues we should face.”
Mr Awosanmi Ade, a traditionalist, said his children used to wear beads on their wrists.
Ade, however, said he ordered that the beads be removed as soon as the children enrolled in the school as they were not part of the dress code.
” Because I wanted my children to have ISI education, I quickly ordered the beads to be removed since they were not part of the school uniform.
“Please do not allow religion to divide this school,” he said.
Other resolutions reached at the meeting included that class allocation of students should not be done in a way to segregate them.
It was also resolved that a committee should be put in place to look into other grievances while security should be tightened.