In another blow to hijab-wearing Muslim women in Karnataka, the state government has decided to prohibit teachers who insist on wearing hijabs from exam duty.
“As hijab is not allowed inside the examination hall for students, to be morally right, we are not forcing teachers who insist on wearing hijab to take up exam duty. Such teachers are relieved from exam duty,” the Times of India quoted Education minister BC Nagesh as saying.
Over 22,000 students remain absent in the ongoing SSLC exams, a huge spike in numbers as compared to last year, as the high court stayed the state’s ban on religious symbols within educational institutions, including headscarves.
A number of Pre-University are also bound to miss crucial exams that are scheduled to begin later this month.
A teacher who was scheduled for SSLC exam duty in the Mysuru district of the state was removed from duty after she insisted on wearing the hijab, although there is no prescribed dress code for government employees.
A large number of petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the hijab ban that has been imposed.
The Karnataka high court on March 15 passed its judgement over the hijab row upholding the ban on hijab putting at stake the future of over 230 hijabi Muslim girls, who choose to wear headscarves as a part of their religious obligation.
The girls who chose to wear their hijabs despite the court’s orders will be prevented from attending classes and writing their exams.
According to data compiled by the Muslim Okkoota, a coalition of organisations representing the Muslim community in Udupi, over 230 Muslim students, from Udupi only, will miss their examinations this month.
The data was compiled after inviting students missing their classes, to fill up an online form. It was found that 160 students were studying in pre-university colleges whereas the remaining are from degree colleges. Sixty-one of them are appearing for board examinations in their second PU year, a crucial stage that paves the path for undergraduate courses.