22 February 2013

Kenya: School Refuses to Take Head Scarf-Wearing Girl

A girl who belongs to the Akorino church has been denied admittance at the Catholic-sponsored Consolata Girls' school in Kevote, Embu for wearing a headscarf.

Speaking to the press yesterday, the girl's father Njoroge Ndwiga said his wife had taken their daughter to report at the school after being selected to join the institution.

Ndwiga said on arriving at the school, his wife and the daughter were confronted and told she would not be be admitted unless she removes the turban and stays without it.

He said when they sought the head teacher's intervention, they were told to adhere to the rule or get a refund of the school fees which had already been paid. Ndwiga said the school principal said the school is catholic sponsored and cannot allow girls to wear a turban.

Speaking to the Star, Embu director of education Beatrice Makau said the move by the school was discriminatory and against the girl's religious rights. She ordered that the girl be readmitted unconditionally.

But the girl's parents have vowed not to take their daughter to the school saying she will be discriminated against following the different religious beliefs. Ndwiga said he fears his daughter will be mistreated if she is "forced on" the school against the adminstration's wishes.

The incident comes in the wake of another incident in the area where IEBC clerks last November refused to register Akorino members in turbans.

IEBC officials eventually resolved the dispute and asked the registration clerks to register the sect members without asking them to remove their turbans.

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