Malawi: Arsonists Raze Pry School’s Headteacher Office Over Hijab Row

Unknown arsonists have torched the headteacher’s office in a Catholic school after he refused to allow Muslim students to attend class in hijabs.

The incident happened at Mpiri primary school in Malawi’s eastern district of Machinga.

Eastern region police publicist, Joseph Sauka, confirmed the incident, saying the building was burnt to ashes on Tuesday morning.

The population in the area is evenly divided between Christians and Muslims but most schools are owned by the Anglican and Catholic churches.

The government policy does not prescribe a school dress code, but some Christian schools have always insisted that learners at their institutions should not wear hijabs, a decision that has led to several religious clashes.

The Anglican and Catholic churches have threatened to close their schools in the area in the wake of the recent attacks.

In February, Mpiri Primary School was shut down for over four weeks after the Muslim community demanded that female learners be allowed to cover their heads at school.

Machinga District Education manager, Makina Gama, confirmed the development then but declined to divulge more details arguing that the Education Commission of the Diocese of Mangochi is better placed to do so.

Education Coordinator for Mangochi Diocese Education Commission Felix Masamba described the development as a mere suspension of classes.

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