Today, Thursday, 17th June, 2021, Muslims and Christians in the country have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to allow Muslim girls wear Hijabs in Christian assisted schools.
According to a memorandum seen by Malawi Muslim Website, as guided by the Education Act (Section 23 (2) (d) & Section 103 (1) that Assisted Christian Schools under ACEM shall enforce that all learners must wear school uniform as determined by the Proprietor. Where the school has Muslim learners, Management shall allow Muslim girls to wear hijab whose colour shall match that of the school uniform as determined by the Proprietor.
“It is hereby agreed that a Muslim girl child shall not be discriminated against on the ground of religion and shall, in addition to other rights, be allowed to dress modestly which include wearing hijab in Assisted Christian Schools. The wearing of hijab shall not deter in any way the learners’ active participation in other school extra-curricular activities which do not infringe on their right to religion such as sports among others,” reads a statement.
Both parties have agreed that Hijab identify Muslim girls hence the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.
“Parties hereto mutually agree that learners’ right to education and freedom of religion particularly that of the girl child, ought to be recognized and respected in Assisted Christian schools. The principle practice of religion is not only confined to belief but may include ceremonial acts, customs such as the observance of dietary regulations, the wearing of distinctive clothing or head coverings, participating in rituals associated with certain stages of life, among others,” reads a statement.
The MoU has been made by and between the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), the Malawi Council of Churches (MCC) and the Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) on behalf of the Christians and the Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) and the Qadria Muslim Association of Malawi (QMAM) on behalf of the Muslims in the Republic of Malawi.
There has been cases in the country whereby Muslim girls were not allowed to attend classes in Christian aided schools while putting on Hijabs. The action has been causing unrest between Muslims and Christians.