WAEC does not forbid use of Hijab
The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) does not forbid use of Hijab by female students either for its biometric capture or the main examination.
This was disclosed by Deputy Director programming in the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Mr AbdulMujeeb Olorunnisola, while contributing to a sensitisation seminar organised by an advocacy group, Coalition for Hijab in Lagos.
Olorunnisola attributed the controversies that have arisen on the use of Hijab by Muslim female students to ignorance on the part of third parties entrusted with registration of students for examination.
According to him, what was required for WAEC biometric capture are distinctive features such the face, fingerprints, colour of eyelids and iris as well as clear identification of gender and the date of birth, none of which is disturbed by use of Hijab.
He said the examination body has always been organising briefing before each of its examination to sensitise stakeholders.
He therefore counselled affected parties to report cases of infringement to WAEC offices in the states.
In his lecture a legal practitioner, Barrister Abduljeleel Olayinka, while affirming that the constitution and court judgment have guaranteed the use of Hijab by Muslim female students, urged parents and guardians to support and encourage their children.
He also counselled the students to ensure they are among the best academically and morally so that they are not subjected to victimisation.
He went further to display the specimen of Hijab that was used as exhibit during the Hijab case at the Supreme Court. According to him, there was no suggestion of tucking in of the Hijab.
In her own lecture, the Executive Secretary of Hijab Advocacy, Barrister Shereefat Enessi, said there was no issue on the legality of the use of Hijab following the Supreme Court judgment.
“You are not take part in religion other than yours or those of your guardian. It is expressly forbidden for any teacher to force you to take part in their religious practice such as clapping, singing, taking part in their carol. We are Muslims. They should not force you to clap or sing on the assembly. We don’t force anyone to practice our religion. So they shouldn’t force us to practice their religion either. You don’t drop your religion at home just because you want to acquire education”, she said.
She therefore counselled Muslim female students to be firm and confident in affirming their religious rights.
The Coalition for Hijab is made up of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Al-Muminaat, Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Federation of Muslim Women Association in Nigeria (FOMWAN), Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative, Muslim Teachers Association of Nigeria (MUTAN), Habu Da Wtil Islamiyyah , Markaz Dawah islamiyyah and The Criterion