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UK school exams scheduled to fit around Ramadan


London: The UK’s key GCSE and A-Level examinations, which are equivalent of India’s Board exams, have been timetabled by the British exam boards taking into account the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), the representative body for exam boards in the UK, said many core subjects have been set for before Ramadan which starts on June 6, but there has been no large scale changes.

The body has been consulting Muslim groups on the issue since the month of Ramadan moved into exam season in 2013.

“JCQ meets the needs of various groups as far as possible. JCQ and the qualifications regulator Ofqual have previously met with Muslim groups to discuss the timetabling of examinations in light of Ramadan moving into the examination period.

Where possible, large-entry GCSE and GCE subjects are timetabled prior to the commencement of Ramadan and consideration given to whether they are timetabled in the morning or afternoon,” said JCQ director general Michael Turner.

Ramadan shifts slightly each year in relation to the Western calendar as it follows the Muslim calendar and this year the holy month will run from June 6 to July 5.

Pupils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will sit GCSEs and A-levels between May 16 and June 29 this year.

During the month of Ramadan, many Muslims fast during daylight hours, pray more and attend special services at mosques.

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