Friday, 20 July 2012 16:15
An official of the Pilar College of Zamboanga City Inc. the other day confirmed the school’s rules and regulation prohibits female Muslim students from wearing "hijab" or veil inside the learning institution.
In a letter addressed to Mayor Celso Lobregat dated July 09, 2012 Pilar College of Zamboanga City president Sister Maria Nina Balbas validated the allegation in response to a City Council resolution authored by Councilor Mel Sadain last June 27, 2012 with regards to complaints made by female Muslim students that they are being disallowed from using the hijab or veil in the said school.
The letter stated that Pilar College is a catholic institution owned and managed by the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM), a women congregation founded in 1894 by Venerable Ignacia del Espiritusanto with at least 51 educational institutions all over the country.
The core of the curriculum for all the schools is Christian Living, the reason why our school have Christian Living, Theology/Religious Studies subjects.
“Our origin is Roman Catholic and we cannot deviate from that origin. It is true we cater to students of different religions, but before they are officially enrolled, during interviews of student applicant, rules and regulations are explained to them particularly the non-wearing of the hijab or veil. This way we are giving freedom to students to choose a school which best fits them. They deemed to have agreed to the rule if after having been informed of the restriction, they still chose to enrol,” the letter further said.
Balbas said the school freely adopts its own policies, standards, regulations and sets forth its conditions for those wishing to join the community as students.
"This is part of academic freedom in connection with which the school has the right to choose whom to teach," the letter emphasized.
By Nonong Santiago
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