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Indonesia

Indonesian school in hot water over headscarf rule

Video of Christian father objecting to rule being forced on daughter sparks religious freedom row

Indonesian school in hot water over headscarf rule

A school in Padang, Indonesia, has sparked controversy by requiring non-Muslim girls to wear headscarves. (Photo: Aman Rochman/AFP)

A video of an argument between a Christian parent and a teacher at a state-run vocational high school that recently went viral on social media has raised concerns over religious freedom in Indonesia’s mainstream educational institutions.

In the video, Elianu Hia, a Protestant, took issue with a school rule that required his first-grade daughter to wear a headscarf.

The school in Padang in West Sumatra province says it requires all female students to wear a headscarf.

His daughter only started going to the school on Jan. 11 when it was allowed to reopen after being shut in March last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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