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KAZAN -- The Public Chamber in Russia's Republic of Tatarstan has approved the wearing of head scarfs, or hijabs, by schoolgirls and teachers at secondary schools.

A leader of the World's Tatar Congress, Renat Valiullin, who took part in the Public Chamber’s gathering on April 11, told RFE/RL the session also decided to ban prayer rooms in all secondary schools.

The Public Chamber, which consists of the leaders and activists of Tatarstan's leading nongovernmental, public, and noncommercial organizations, initiated discussion of the issues after reports that some schools in the republic's city of Tuben Kama had banned hijabs last month.

The body's decisions are taken into account by Tatarstan's lawmakers and government.
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