Kashmir school asks staff to avoid wearing hijab
The Dagger Parivaar School, run by the Army in collaboration with an NGO, said the move would help disabled students be comfortable to interact with teachers.
An Army-run school in Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Monday asked its staff to stop wearing hijab during school hours so that “students can feel comfortable and are forthcoming to interact with teachers”, News18 reported.
The circular was issued by the administration of the Dagger Parivaar School, meant for disabled children.
The school is run by the Indian Army along with a Pune-based non-governmental organisation called Indrani Balan Foundation, the Kashmir Observer reported. Around 70 students are enrolled in the school.
In circular issued on Monday, the school’s principal said that the institution was a place to learn and grow emotionally.
“As the staff of school, the main purpose is to provide the fullest possible development of each learner,” the circular added. “For the same, the trust must be established with the students to make them feel welcome, safe and happy. The staff is hereby instructed to avoid hijab...”
After social media users criticised the move, an unidentified official of the school told News18 that officials would recall the circular and issue a new one.
“A teacher has done a mistake and created a controversy,” the official said. “The school has children of all faiths and we don’t discriminate.”
The development came just over a month after the Karnataka High Court on March 15 upheld the ban on the hijab in educational institutes in the state. The court had held that the hijab was not an essential part of Islam and thus could not be protected under the fundamental right to religion.
The order has been challenged in the Supreme Court.
In February, Hindu students and mobs of men protested against Muslim women wearing hijabs to educational institutes in Karnataka. At some colleges, Muslim students were heckled, while in another case, some men climbed up a flagpole to plant a saffron flag and broke into classrooms.