This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
LOME, Togo, Oct 5, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- Schoolgirls in the African country of Togo who spend too much time playing with their hair will have to cut it off, school officials announced this week.
Madame Olympio, a teacher in Lome, Togo's capital, told the BBC girls are under-performing scholastically compared to boys, and the goal is to take away the distraction.
"They must know how to organize themselves and use their time in order to succeed in their studies instead of wasting their time -- three hours, sometimes days -- with their hair," Olympio said.
The move came two weeks after the education minister urged moderation in girls' dress and hairstyles in the classroom.
But Difernand Dossou, the president of the students' and parents association, said schools have misinterpreted the minister's words and that forcing girls to shave their heads is taking the matter too far. He said only state schools are affected and some parents said they will transfer their children to private schools.
Copyright 2005 by United Press International