Indian school ordered to re-admit Pakistani veiled student

September 11, 2012

An Indian school in Kuwait was told to re-admit a Pakistani student after it refused to admit her for wearing a veil.

A source told local Arabic daily Al Rai that the girl’s father was shocked that the private school had rejected her admission because she started wearing a veil.

“The father was told that the school was basically a Christian institution and as such, the nine-year-old student who had attended classes there but did not then cover her head, had to remove her veil. The father eventually had to contact the ministry and explained how his daughter was allowed to study in the school until she started wearing a veil,” the source said.

An official from the private education directorate was reportedly sent to the school to discuss the matter.

According to the source, “the school management apologised for the incident and said that it was a personal act by a teacher that did not reflect the open policy of the academic institution. The girl was re-admitted.”

Yusuf Al Saqr, the head of a local human rights watchdog, said that they monitored the situation closely and were satisfied that the student was re-admitted.

“We stress that full religious freedom is enshrined in the Kuwaiti constitution in accordance with the principles of human rights,” he said, quoted by Al Rai on Sunday.

“No violation of people’s rights is or should be tolerated, especially that Kuwait is an Arab country and Islam is its religion.”

The human rights activist said that they planned to contact the school to stress the rights of students and to ensure that the case is not repeated.

“We thank the education ministry for its prompt and decisive move to address the issue and we do urge its officials to communicate with all schools to make sure that no such case is repeated in the future.”

The back-to-school season in Kuwait’s public schools started yesterday, when around 799 schools re-open with 58,000 teachers. However, the first batch of the 374,000 students enrolled in all elementary, middle and high schools will start attending classes on September 16.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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