Maldives bans wearing niqab while teaching

Teacher wearing a niqab | Photo: Sun

Malé, Maldives – Education Ministry on Wednesday banned niqabi teachers from covering their faces while teaching.

Under the new guidelines, schools are to ensure that teachers are not wearing a face veil while teaching and take action against teachers who refuse to adhere to this guideline.

The Education Ministry released a statement today explaining this decision, stating that the non verbal behaviour of teachers is crucial for the learning experience of students.

The movements of the eyes and mouth are critical in communication. This non verbal communication plays a significant role for students to understand the lessons … and gaining their attention.

Education Ministry

Civil servants including teachers wearing the niqab was prohibited before January 2019. The clause was removed under a pledge by the incumbent President Ibahim Mohamed Solih to bring equality to the workforce.

The statement by the Education Ministry notes that teachers will continue using face masks while teaching due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many are questioning why niqab (face veils) are banned while face masks which also hide the face are not as teachers have been doing since the onset of the pandemic.