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Balaba seeks probe on hijab ban in school campus 


“I AM not the only one duty bound to protect the rights of our constituents, especially our youth, and in this time to be more specific, our young female Muslim students, to give them equal opportunity in the field of pursuing their educational attainment and their dreams; we all are.” 


Councilor Joyleen Mercedes L. Balaba during her recent special report

Thus, emphasized Councilor Joyleen Mercedes L. Balaba during her recent special report in the last regular session relative to the complaint of two Muslim nursing students of a known university in the City who claimed to have been prohibited from wearing hijabs or headscarves in their classes. As stated in the letter-complaint, these students said that they were not also allowed to participate in class demonstrations while wearing their hijabs despite their pleas.


Eventually, one of the students was advised and forced to shift to another course, a heart-breaking scenario for anyone and for a student her age to give up her dream because of this ‘unreasonable and completely unfair school policy’.


“Why unreasonable? Because we have enough laws and legal orders that guarantee the exercise of religious freedom as provided for in Section 5 Article 3 of our 1987 Constitution. Furthermore, Republic Act 9710 of the Magna Carta for Women renewed its call to all higher educational institutions to extend respect and consideration on wearing of hijabs,” Balaba explained.


The lady councilor added that this law was even supported by Memorandum Order No. 10249-13 issued by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in compliance with the advisory from the Commission on Human Rights specifically to promote and protect human rights against schools refusing to admit female Muslim students wearing head scarves. 


As requested, the matter was referred to the Committees on Social Services, on Youth and Sports Development, and on Education respectively chaired by Councilors Balaba, Kenneth John Sacala, and Suzette M. Daba, for appropriate action

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