Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Advanced Level exam results of Muslim students suspended over hijab

(File photograph)

The Advanced Level examination results of 70 female Muslim students at the Zahira College in Trincomalee have been suspended after invigilators complained their identities could not be confirmed as they were wearing hijabs – an Islamic headscarf.

Lawmaker M S Thowfeek told parliament that these students despite undergoing many hardships owing to the economic crisis and loss of livelihoods had studied well and sat for the exams with the hope that they could secure a good result. 

“I request the Examinations Department to discuss this with the relevant authorities and ensure that their results are released,” Thowfeek continued.

It comes after another incident where the results of 13 Muslim candidates who sat for the Education administration service (principals’ service) were also withheld due to their wearing of hijabs during the examination. 

SJB Parliamentarian Mujibur Rahman also demanded justice for those candidates in parliament last week, where he condemned the move and placed the blame on the Examinations Department. He criticised the department for allegedly failing to inform the candidates about the incompatibility of wearing hijabs during the exam, leading to the subsequent blocking of their results. 

A report on religious freedom by the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner Special Rapporteur said that there has been a rise in intolerance towards those who observe religious dress codes in Sri Lanka, especially among Muslim women in public institutions such as hospitals, schools and public transport. 

“Some people stop Muslim women and girls simply with hijab or abaya from entering some hospitals or exam halls or make verbal insults at workplaces,” the report noted. “I also received reports that alleged violations of the ban on the face-veil were sometimes met with harsh reaction, including imprisonment, which is a draconian measure.”

We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.

For more ways to donate visit https://donate.tamilguardian.com.