Hijab ban: Karnataka Board SSLC exams begin on Monday

Girls came to the campus wearing hijab but removed it before entering the exam halls.

Hubli: Amidst the ongoing hijab controversy in Karnataka, the SSLC exams for class 10th was conducted by the Karnataka board. Around 8.73 lakh students are appearing for the exams.

As per the schedule released by KSEEB, the SSLC exams commenced on March 28, 2022 will go on till April 11, 2022. The state government has clamped prohibitory orders in and around examination centers across the state to ensure the smooth conduct of exams.

Ahead of the exams, the Karnataka government had made uniforms compulsory for the appearing students. Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister BC Nagesh on Sunday had said that wearing of hijab would not be allowed during the exams, following the high court’s verdict stating that students should not wear any religious attire to the classes.

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As the exams began peacefully in the state on Monday, visuals surpassed from various school centers, where girls came to the campus wearing hijab but removed it before entering the exam halls.

In an incident from Hubli, a student was sent back home, for not wearing the uniform and refusing to take off burkha and hijab.

At the Shanti Niketan PU College exam center in Hubli, a class 10th student came to appear in the exams wearing a burkha and hijab. The girl was refused from the center to take SSLC exams without a uniform and sent back home for not removing the hijab. However, she was later allowed to appear for the exam, after removing the hijab.

The circular issued by the Karnataka state government mentioned that the students coming to attend the exam without uniforms will not be allowed inside the exam hall. The education minister had further clarified that students can come to the campus wearing the hijab but they cannot put it on in the classroom. Similar will be followed during the exams.

After the order issued by the education minister, the school centers have made arrangements for girls to remove hijab at the center and enter the exam halls. The minister also mentioned that conduction of re-exams will be skipped for those who do not adhere to the guidelines.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday had asked the students to write their exams without any fear and yet again as the exams commenced on Monday, CM wished the students appearing for the exams and asked them to focus on their future.

Former chief minister and Janata Dal leader HD Kumaraswamy also took to Twitter to wish students and said, “Do not be perturbed by the recent unpleasant incidents. Everyone should understand that future is important. Parents should also not ignore. Let us not impose feelings on young minds.”
He urged the students to not miss the exams, amid the ongoing tensions of hijab controversy and take their future as a priority.

“Students of all faiths should write the exam by keeping their feelings aside. Do not skip the exam for any reason. A time will come to respect the feelings of children by clearing tense atmosphere,” he tweeted.
Following the Karnataka High Court’s decision in February to ban the hijab in educational institutes, considering it a non-essential practice in Islam, several girls boycotted their classes and skipped the exams.

The order was challenged by a petitioner in the Supreme Court, seeking an early hearing of the matter, as the exams were scheduled on 28 March and the student would lose a year as authorities are not allowing entry with a hijab.

The top court on March 24 had refused the early hearing. The Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said, “This has nothing to do with exams. Don’t sensationalize the issue.”

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