Headscarf row: School management suspends principal


Alappuzha (Kerala) : The principal of a Christian-run school was suspended by the school management after controversy when a Muslim girl student was issued a transfer certificate because she insisted on wearing a headscarf to school, an official said Friday.

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Alappuzha District Collector P.Venugopal, who initiated talks between the school management, the girl’s parents and other locals, told IANS that the issue has been settled.

“The school management accepted their wrong-doing. The principal, Mary Jessinda, has been suspended and an inquiry ordered,” Venugopal said.

Nabala, a Class 10 student of the Believers’ Church English Medium School at Gurupuram, was issued a transfer certificate April 26 after she refused to stop wearing the “maftha” (headscarf) to the school. She had been a student of the school from the kindergarten.

Her father Nazir Musaliar, an imam at a madrassa, took up the issue. Many local people also extended support to the girl.

An inquiry by the district’s deputy director of education, early this week, found that the complaint was true.

Venugopal said the school management has agreed to take back Nabala.

“But the problem is that she is not willing to return. So I have decided that I myself will take steps to see that she is admitted to a CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) school here itself,” he said.

The state Human Rights Commission has also taken up this issue and is awaiting a report from the principal secretary of general education.

Education Minister M.A.Baby has condemned the incident and since the school follows the CBSE syllabus, the matter has been reported to the board headquarters in New Delhi.