Despite the adjustment to the timetable for the 2018 May/June Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE), an Islamic group has expressed dissatisfaction with the West African Examination Council (WAEC) for still scheduling some exams for the period Muslims observe jumat prayer.
WAEC had fixed the Chemistry exams for between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 20, and later rescheduled them for same time on Tuesday, April 10.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported how Islamic clerics criticised WAEC for scheduling some papers to coincide with the Friday Jumat prayer, a compulsory prayer for Muslims.
The Director of Public Affairs, WAEC Nigeria, Demianus Ojijeogu, in response said the council had amended the time for the Chemistry paper, which it considered a major course.
“Only few or none of the candidates offers these other courses in contention”, he said.
But in a statement on Tuesday signed by its president, Ishaq Akintola, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) dismissed the explanation by the regional exams body.
“The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) contends that this argument is escapist, lame and therefore untenable. It is a weak after-thought and a poorly presented case of divide et impera”, the group said in the statement.
MURIC said it is ideal that the Islamic jumat prayer time is kept free throughout the examination.
The group said there are Muslims everywhere in the world and fixing an examination during Jumat time is depriving them of their Allah-given fundamental human rights.
It further said it is committed to the liberation of Muslims and other oppressed people in any part of the world.
“Neither is our intellectual jihad restricted to the emancipation of Muslims alone. It extends to people of all faiths,” it said in the statement said.
The group urged the regional examination body to shun any situation capable of igniting a crisis over the forthcoming June/July 2018 examination.
“Our vision of Nigeria is that of a nation where Muslims, Christians and Traditionalists live together in peace and harmony, a nation in which no one is oppressed on account of faith, class or ethnicity,” the statement said.
The examination is scheduled to start on March 27 and end on May 15.