The Civil coalition has disagreed over two amendments to the Education Bill which states that people cannot enter schools dressed in a manner where they cannot be identified.
Vice President of the Civil coalition and State Home Minister Abdulla Mohamed said that an amendment included into the Education Bill’s draft by the Education Ministry states that no one can enter a school dressed in an unidentifiable manner, for the protection of the students and employees but given that the rule indirectly affects those who wear the hijab the coalition will work with the relevant authorities to revise the clause.
“We believe that amendment is to indirectly bar those who wear the hijab is because for example in Ghiyaasuddeen School parents are given a card for the safety of the students, such a system can be established , there’s no need to address the way someone is dressed,” Abdulla said.
He also said that the amendment has been brought to the attention of President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik, and that discussions are being held with the Education Ministry and that if a change is not facilitated the coalition will resort to mass protest against the clause.
“Because we’re part of a certain government doesn’t mean we will let go of challenges regarding religion, whatever government may be in power we will rise up against all violations or obstructions of our religion,” he said.
State Education Minister Imad Solih said that when the draft of the bill proposed by MP Abdul Aziz Jamal Abu Bakr was sent to the ministry for comments it was noted that given the status of today’s society to guarantee a safe environment for students it is important that everyone entering an educational institution be identifiable as per the Senior Management of the ministry.
However Imad noted that conflict arose when it came to interpreting the clause and that the ministry received several calls regarding the matter following which the clause was revised.
“We want to guarantee the identity of those who enter schools. The Senior Management of the ministry included the clause with that intent and none other,” he said.