This statement by the management of the International School, University of Ibadan is published unedited for what it offers to students of the national question, conflict management, multi-culturalism and Nigerian politics. It is titled Information for Parents and Stakeholders!
The Management of The International School, University of Ibadan (ISI) remains grateful to our parents and stakeholders for the interest and constant support to the stability and progress of our school. Indeed, there is very little we can do without your goodwill and active support. May God continue to bless you and uphold our school.
The Management is aware of several write-ups trending on the social media in respect of the situation of things in ISI. Much of these are laden with exaggerations and distortions. This is quite understandable as people often report issues from their own peculiar perspectives and within the context of the objectives they hope to achieve.
We use this medium to plead with our parents and all stakeholders to endeavor to confirm information gotten on the social media before accepting or acting on them. As it has been established in recent times, many of the trending stories on our social medium platforms are distorted, inaccurate, exaggerated or out rightly false. Hence, we assure parents that all is well in the school. The school is peaceful, our students are safe and academic work is going on as scheduled. We have concluded classes and revisions for the third term and by the grace of God, third term examinations will commence as scheduled.
It is important to note that ISI operates based on a set of rules and regulations, established many years back and consistently applied in a non-discriminatory manner, in the best interest of all our students, irrespective of their gender and social, religious or ethnic background. These considerations are totally irrelevant in the application of our institutional rules and regulations, which among other ends, are meant to forge a sense of unity and common identity among our students as we work in cooperation with all stakeholders to lay a solid foundation for their academic and overall success in life. Hence, we assure all parents that ISI remains committed to the overall wellbeing of all its students without any form of discrimination against any one of them.
*Information Channels to Parents*
Parents should kindly note that there are only two platforms, established in accordance with the extant rules and regulations of the ISI, through which the school management relates with and conveys information to parents. These are the:
- i) Parents-Teachers Association (PTA)
- ii) Boarder-Parents Forum
All other groups, associations or platforms purporting to represent the interest of the school, its students or their parents are not known to nor recognized by the school’s Management. They are not duly constituted in accordance with the rules and regulations of the school. Hence, they cannot legitimately hold brief on any matter whatsoever for the students or parents of the school.
Parents and the general public should kindly note that all enquiries about the school should be directed to its Management, Parents Teacher’s Association (PTA) (for day students) or the Boarder-Parents Forum (BPF) for the boarders.
*Update on the Court Case Brought against the School by some Parents**
It is no longer news that a group of parents (14 in number) approached the High Court of Oyo State on behalf of their wards seeking orders for the enforcement of their fundamental rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion and freedom from discrimination, right to the dignity of human person and right to education. Their contention in the suit was that the school’s enforcement of its regulations relating to the appropriate uniform for its female students and its insistence that students should not wear any adornments including Muslim hijabs over their uniforms was a violation of their rights.
The case came up on Tuesday, 25th June 2019 for hearing of a preliminary objection that had been filed challenging its competence on the strength of authorities stipulating that fundamental rights are individual rights that cannot be enforced by multiple applicants in a single suit as the applicants had done. The applicants did not file a response to the objection and conceded that they had no answer to it. Consequently, the objection was argued and the matter was struck out.
*Matters Arising from the Conclusion of the Court Case*
With the determination of the court case, the status-quo remains, particularly concerning the school’s right to enforce its rules and regulations as approved by its Board of Governors. The applicants’ contention challenging the provision of the rules and regulations stipulating the accepted ‘uniform and appearance’ has failed and is therefore of no effect. Hence, it amounts to a gross misconduct for any student to disobey the extant rules and regulation and disrespect the school authorities in their effective Management of the school. Such deliberate disregard for the rules and regulations of the school by willfully appearing on the grounds of the school with an adornment not approved as part of the school uniform is unacceptable to Management.
The school uniform is an important part of the identity of the school, and it is not subject to the discretion of any individual. Hence, all students, having voluntarily enrolled in the school, have an obligation to respect and preserve the institutional identity of the school by properly wearing the school uniform as prescribed by the school’s rules and regulations on uniform and appearance.
*The Event of Wednesday, 3rd July 2019*
On Wednesday, 3rd July 2019, the school embarked on a drive to collect school fees at the entrance gate. This is an exercise that has been carried out every term for years to ensure that outstanding schools fees are paid prior to the conduct of examinations. The staff members on this assignment, from the Accounts Unit, were at the school gate to screen those who are defaulting in respect of the payment of school fees and NOT to harass our Muslim students. They are our beloved children and dear students to whom we owe an obligation of protection and care. Nonetheless, they are expected to obey all extant rules and regulations and the school has a responsibility to enforce these with the understanding that ISI is a secular school and DOES NOT OPERATE ON THE BASIS OF ANY RELIGIOUS IDENTITY.
Kindly note that any claim or insinuation that the school is against Muslims or any religious orientation is unfortunate, distorted, misguided and deliberately mischievous. The School Management passionately appeals to all our parents and stakeholders to disregard the trending allegations of religious discrimination in ISI.
As the fees collection drive was going on, a female student was spotted wearing a hijab on her school uniform. She was reminded of the institutional dress code prohibiting the use of any adornment on the school uniform and subsequently instructed to take off her hijab before passing through the gate of the school into the school premises. Unfortunately, this irked her father who became very aggressive and confrontational, raining abuses and unprintable curses on the staff members who were carrying out their lawful duties at the entrance of the school. He harassed and humiliated the staff on duty for a while before departing with the promise to mobilize the Muslim community to beat up the staff at the school gate the next day and ensure that the school is closed. They also promised to organise people to waylay a staff living at Ajibode and give him “the beating of his life”.
*The Event of Thursday, 4th July 2019:*
On Thursday, 4th July 2019, the parent that threatened our staff the previous day mobilized his friends and other Muslim parents to disrupt the peaceful movement of students and staff into the school. They came with their daughters, adorning hijabs on their school uniform. The school management had no choice but to inform the security office of the University which quickly intervened to prevent the execution of the threat earlier made the previous day by the parent in question and to enforce compliance with the dress code of the school.
Due to the intervention of security officers, the parent in question and his friends were prevented from assaulting the staff of ISI who were at the entrance gate to the school on the fees collection drive. Consequently, he resorted to a video recording of students as they were advised to comply with the dress code of the school by removing all adornments (hijabs) not authorized as part of the school uniform before entering the premises of the school.
To ensure peace in ISI and to prevent further deliberate distortions and mischievous misinterpretation and malicious misrepresentation of the legitimate effort of the school to collect school fees from defaulting students, the school has adopted an alternative fees collection strategy since Thursday, 4 July 2019.
The trending campaign against the school on the social media on the purported ground of religious intolerance is a false, inherently malicious and mischievously calculated attempt to discredit the school and precipitate religious crisis.
All parents are therefore entreated to advise their wards to respect and obey all the rules and regulations of the school as we endeavor to cooperatively produce disciplined, civil, law abiding, academically excellent and world class students who would become good ambassadors of their families and the ISI within and beyond the shores of our dear country.
Management wishes to assure our good parents that the school is committed to providing world class training to students and make them reliable global citizens.