Religious crisis loom in Osun state over merger of schools

There was confusion at Baptist High School, Iwo, Osun State on Tuesday as some pupils shunned their uniforms and wore choir gowns, white garments, Islamic apparel and other unconventional dresses to the school.

Although no group or individual could be identified as the mastermind of the bizarre dress code by the pupils, there were, however, conflicting reasons for the behaviour.

While some people said the unconventional dresses were a way of registering dislike for the same uniform introduced by the government for all schools in the state, others said some Christians who were opposed to wearing of hijab in schools founded by Christian missionaries orchestrated the drama.

It was learnt that although many other pupils appeared in the government-approved uniform, a few ones who are neither Christians nor Muslims wore clothes with the insignia of their religious beliefs, making the atmosphere in the school chaotic.

Apart from the riotous outfits, the students also sang different religious songs while on the assembly for the morning devotion.

While the Christian students who wore white garments sang Christian songs, the Muslim students who appeared in veil sang Muslim songs.

The confusion was said to have continued in the classrooms as pupils sang discordant tunes. The confusion, it was gathered, started on Monday and continued on Tuesday morning.

The teachers were said to be helpless in controlling the pupils due to the sensitivity of the issue.

Worried by the development, the school authority hurriedly sent the students to their various classrooms and informed the state Ministry of Education of the development.

Reacting, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Sunday Akere said government was aware of the development and was making efforts to bring sanity back to the system.

He said officials of the state Ministry of Education have been drafted to the school to prevent further breakdown of law and order.