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Exams Move for Ramadhan in UK

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 7th January 2016 09:18
Exams timetabled to accommodate Ramadan
By Hannah Richardson
BBC News education reporter

This year's key GCSE and A-Level examinations have been timetabled to take into account the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, exam boards have said.

The Joint Council for Qualifications said many core exams had been set for before Ramadan starts on 6 June, but there had been no large scale changes.

It has consulted with Muslim groups on the issue since the month of fasting moved into the exam season in 2013.

Ramadan shifts slightly each year in relation to the Western calendar.

It follows the Muslim calendar and, this year, runs from 6 June to 5 July.

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

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

Some will not eat or drink water from dawn to dusk. And head teachers have voiced concerns this may have a negative effect on exam performance.

'Small window'

Michael Turner, director general of the JCQ, which represents exam boards, said it consulted on the provisional examination timetable every year, and considered comments from a wide range of stakeholders including religious groups, schools and colleges.

"The small window in which examinations can be taken, the large number of candidates taking examinations and the diverse range of subjects available to candidates, places significant limitations on the changes that can be accommodated for any one group," he said.

"However, 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."

This could mean that subjects taken by large numbers of students, such as GCSE English and maths, may be timetabled early in the exams season before Ramadan, or taken at a time of day to lessen the effect on students who might be fasting.

An Ofqual spokeswoman said the exam regulator had taken part in discussions about "the timing of Ramadan this year and we support the steps JCQ and the exam boards are taking with respect to the timetabling of exams this summer".

'Fasting'

Secondary head teachers in the Association of School and College Leaders are planning to meet Muslim groups to see how they can work together to meet the challenge of the clash.
ASCL deputy general secretary Malcolm Trobe said: "ASCL is meeting with Muslim faith leaders to discuss this year's Ramadan and plans to issue guidance for schools and colleges ahead of the summer exams season.

"The guidance will be non-prescriptive and will not advise families or students on how they should address the question of fasting during Ramadan, which we agree is a matter for the individuals concerned along with parents, carers and faith leaders.

"School and college leaders are very keen to work with communities to ensure young people are able to observe Ramadan without any detrimental impact on their examinations."
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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 7th January 2016 13:48
Although I appreciate the fact that the exam boards have taken ramadan sensitivity on board but these kind of issues will cause us problems. Firstly which Muslims group did they consult? Also I don't know of any Muslim group pushing for a change in exam dates as this would be used by anti-muslim groups as has already been done by Islamphobic newspapers like the Daily Mail and the Metro. I mean they changed exam dates as they clashed with the European football championships so no big deal if they cater to Muslim needs. Issue is that the media and islamphobes are looking for any excuse or half an excuse to target us so I think we should be careful.
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 7th January 2016 20:07
london786 wrote:
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I felt the same when I read the post intially....But on reflection the Media are going to malign us regardless.
Perhaps its time we had less of an apologetic approach towards the establishment. Because clearly this apologetic approach has not worked, its like the bullied little child who feels that if he is meek and mild the bullies will leave him alone. Only to find that this only emboldens knowing they can do as they please with impunity.

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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 7th January 2016 20:25
i agree the media is constanlty going out their way to write rubbish if it was this story they would make something up ( im being serious they really do just make up stories) but we should give them ammo. i dont know to much about how this change of dates was done but as muslims in uk we shouldn't be making too much noise and demands. we should just do it in such a way they dont even realize we have done it. i give exmaple. if hospitals dont provide halal food instead of kicking up a big fuss and drawing attention ( which is always going to be negative and used by racist) have a quiet word with hospital management or take food from home and soon enough the hospitals will realise hold on these guys dont eat our food and will themselfs just provide it. maybe this wasnt the best of exmaples but you get what i mean. it seems each time muslims want something they kick up a fuss and use the very avenues eg media and politicans which are biggest enemies and shayateen. take the yahood. they hardly ever hand a conflic of interest between religion and uk life/culture yet no one even notices they get and got what they want
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 7th January 2016 22:47
It's not always about what the Muslim's want.

It's about keeping the Muslim community happy. On the other hand, there could be an agenda, it could be fear of other things, so before something happens, they put a lid on it and come out like the saviors.

These people know who are in the minority, but they also know the power of the people.

And they win the votes too :(

The negative side of this is that many will say the exams were too early or late.
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