Cape Town -
Tamboerskloof Primary has created a headscarf for pupils to wear to ensure there is uniformity.
This is in direct contrast to a neighbouring school where a row has broken out over a pupil’s right to wear a headscarf.
Principal Joy McGilton said: “Our children have worn scarves for some years, but we decided to formalise it. We decided to make a school uniform scarf available for sale in our clothing depot.”
Previously girls were asked to wear a navy blue scarf, but this had led to all shades of blue being worn.
McGilton said the change had been accepted by pupils and parents. It would be phased into the uniform. “It is not compulsory at this stage.”
City of Cape Town councillor Yagyah Adams, of the Cape Muslim Congress, said this was a “very exciting” move.
Adams, chairman of the school’s governing body, said McGilton had approached him about introducing the headscarf after discussing the matter with teachers.
“I’m very impressed (by) how this woman and her staff have internalised the multiculturalism of our society. I didn’t bother to raise the issue because I don’t like to impose my religious beliefs on others. But when she approached me I was startled, I didn’t expect that.”
He said there was no controversy regarding the new scarf.
“We didn’t compromise progress, nor did we compromise academic excellence,” Adams said.
Adams, whose daughters are in Grades 8 and 10, said they hadn’t worn headscarves to school but were doing so now.
“… now it is so convenient because it fits well into the uniform.”
The Cape Times reported last week that the dress code of the German International School Cape Town, also in Tamboerskloof, which said “no headwear (was) to be worn in class”, had prompted a Grade 9 pupil to leave the school.
Pupils donned headscarves in support of her last week.
According to the Department of Basic Education’s national guidelines on school uniforms, a school’s dress code should take religious and cultural diversity into account in line with the constitution.