Identity issues in schools
Johannesburg's Jeppe High School for Girls made headlines last month after it threatened disciplinary action against a group of Muslim pupils for wearing the hijab (a head covering worn by Muslim women) with the school uniform.
The Gauteng education department confirmed it would meet the school on Tuesday to discuss the issue.
Ronald White, chairman of the school’s governing body, said the dispute arose after the pupils wanted to wear a uniform “which deviates from the school's code of conduct”.
“There is currently a prescribed dress code for Muslim learners which was adopted in consultation with the then Muslim community at the school.” He said the governing body gave pupils and their parents a chance to seek a concession for an alternative uniform, which required them to obtain the approval of the broader Muslim community at the school, but “no response was forthcoming and the transgressing learners persisted in wearing the unauthorised uniform”. — Prega Govender