Schools can't prohibit religious headwear

National school guidelines says pupils are allowed to wear religious headwear.

Islamic headscarf.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Education Department said on Thursday it is pleased a debacle involving the religious headgear of two Muslim learners was resolved.

The grade 11 and 9 siblings returned to Eben Donges High School in Kraaifontien after teachers at the school apparently asked the siblings to remove their headscarf and fez a week ago.

When one of them refused, their parents were called and were told it wasn't part of their school uniform resulting in the pupils missing a week of school.

Spokesman for the Western Cape Education Department Paddy Atwell said schools must follow national guidelines.

"In terms of the constitution, as noted in the guidelines, schools should not prohibit attire such as yarmulkes and headscarves if they form part of religious practice or obligation."

Atwell said learners shouldn't be discriminated against.

"We've urged schools to follow the national guidelines on school uniforms. According to the guidelines, schools should take religious adversity into account."