Murang’a school sends home 7 students for wearing hijab

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Seven girls in Thaara Secondary School in Maragua Constituency were Friday sent home for wearing hijabs.

According to the school management, Thaara Muslim students are supposed to cover their heads partially leaving out their ears.

This they say helps to prevent them from hiding drugs such as bhang.

However, the parents of the students complained about this and said that the school is discriminatory to the Muslim students.

Parents to Muslim girls sent away from school [Source: Nation]

Ms Fatuma Ibrahim, one of the parents said they were told by the school management that they would have to transfer their daughters if they did not adhere to the policy.

“When the students were admitted to the school, they had hijabs covering their heads as Islam dictates. We find it unfair and religious discrimination when they are given conditions which are not given to other students who are members of the Akorino sect and others,” she said.

“How could they accuse the students of hiding bhang in the hijabs while there has never been such a case with our students and then, how come they don’t think other students from other denominations can hide the drugs in their heads since they also have head gears,” Mr Ramadan, a parent posed.

The parents said the issue has demotivated their children and caused them untold suffering “as they are being victimized because of their religion.

Imam Juma termed the incident as unfortunate.

“We must be respected and our religion respected the way we do to other religions. Claiming that the students can hide drugs and exam materials (in their hijabs) is just an excuse for discrimination,” Juma said.

When contacted Murang’a County Director of Education Ann Kiiru told the Nation that upon hearing about the matter, she went to the school and directed its management to call for a meeting with parents and solve the impasse.

Earlier this year, Makeda Ndinda, a student at Olympic High School in Nairobi was sent away for covering her head. Ndinda’s family practices Rastafarian religion where they grow natural dread locks.

Rastafarian religion is not a  pronounced religion in Kenya and the school administration was not conversant with it.

There are no standard constitutional laws regulating dress codes in schools. However, the Basic Education Act 2013 empowers basic learning institutions to formulate rules that safeguard learning. The rules must be in line with the written laws.

It states in Part III (30): “Every institution of basic education shall develop school rules which shall be subjected to public participation and which shall not be inconsistent with the Act, or any other relevant written law.”

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