Parents defy ruling on hijab

Parents and students of St Paul Secondary School-Kiwanjani in Isiolo town have condemned and defied the Supreme Court ruling that had barred Muslim girls from wearing the hijab.

This follows Thursday’s ruling by the highest court.

Their school had gone to the High Court in Meru in 2015 in the case between representatives of the affected girls versus the Methodist Church of Kenya that claimed they are sponsors of the school and would not allow hijab in school. They lost the case and went to Court of Appeal and won thereafter.

Before the court case, students from Mixed Day school protested and dozens were suspended, but the Ministry of Education intervened and were readmitted and the principal transferred to a school in Embu.

Yesterday, hundreds of parents arrived at the school with their daughters wearing the Muslim gear that covers their head and the management, after wide consultation allowed them to go to their classrooms.

The school principal was reportedly away on official duty and his colleagues on duty declined to be interviewed.

A parent who identified herself only as Fatimah said the Supreme Court erred in law by ruling against them, adding the judgment would set a precedent that would affect all schools.

‘‘This school does not belong to any religion. The CS for Education Amina Mohammed and her predecessor, Fred Matiang’i know it is a public school. Where is the church coming into this case?’’ she posed.

Isiolo North MP Hassan Odha asked the Judiciary to tread carefully, arguing that it is the government that sets rules for public schools.

Yesterday, some parents said they would withdraw their daughters from the school if a pending appeal is rejected, with some going back home with their children.

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HijabSt Paul Secondary SchoolSupreme CourtEducation