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India Muslim girls wearing hijab not allowed to take SSLC exam in Karnataka

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BANGALORE: Some Muslim girls who wanted to appear in their class 10 board exams wearing hijab were recently denied admission in Karnataka citing a High Court verdict. While a Muslim supervisor has also been suspended for wearing a hijab on duty.

Authorities at an examination center in a school in the Hubli district sent back Muslim girls who had come to take the exam wearing hijab.

A similar scene was witnessed in a government school in Ilkal town of Bagalkot district where Muslim students were denied permission to appear for the SSLC board examination.

However, most Muslim students choose to write the exam without hijab, saying the exam was more important to them than wearing a headscarf to the exam hall, Indian media claimed.

A full bench of the Karnataka High Court had recently ruled that hijab is not a necessary religious practice and everyone must follow the rule of wearing a uniform.

The Karnataka government had made it clear that everyone has to abide by the high court’s decision otherwise they will not be allowed to write the exam.

According to the Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board (KSEEB), over 8.69 lakh students had enrolled for the exam, but 20,994 students did not appear. Last year, absentees were only 3,769.

Last year’s attendance was 99.54 percent, which came down to 97.59 percent this year.

Of the 8.48 lakh students who appeared for the exam, 8.11 lakh were freshmen, 35,509 were private freshmen and 1,701 were repeaters.

Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister BC Nagesh said that the examination went smoothly in the state.

“After two years, there was a full-scale SSLC exam. The children excitedly reached the examination centers and took the examination. The parents also happily sent their children to write the exams while the teachers were also happy to conduct the exams,” Nagesh said in a statement.

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