As reactions continue to trail the just concluded entrance examination into public secondary schools in Lagos State, one of Nigeria’s leading Islamic organisations, The Muslim Congress (TMC) has decried the undue disadvantage meted out to Muslim students by the Lagos State Government.
The Muslim students were compulsorily instructed to answer some Bible knowledge questions they did not know of during the 2022 entrance examination into public schools.
In a release issued on Thursday, the Amir of the Organisation, Alhaji AbdulWasiu Taiwo Bangbala said instructing Muslims and non-christian kids ‘to compulsorily attempt questions on a subject never taught them before while at the same time offending their religious sensibilities is beyond the pale’.
Muslim News findings revealed the entrance examination which took place on Saturday, July 23rd, 2022 contained at least three questions in the General Knowledge paper which centred on Bible knowledge, without a single question relating to Islamic studies.
In his words, Alh Bangbala said “The entrance examination for Lagos State public schools that was held on Saturday, July 23rd has controversially come under the spotlight over the inclusion of Bible knowledge questions in the General Knowledge examination. This has given undue advantage to Christian candidates over Muslims and non-Christian students.
“In a socio-cultural landscape rife with vast inequalities and religious diversity, issues that reflect divergent views, especially with religious connotations, have always kicked up a rumpus and one would have expected the examiners to, at least, shrug off the idea rather than act against the better judgment.
“The intrepid boldness to instruct innocent kids, 10 to 12 years old primary school pupils, to compulsorily attempt questions on a subject never taught them before while at the same time offending their religious sensibilities is beyond the pale. That no less than three questions of a supposed general knowledge examination were extractions from Christian Religious Studies, when it is not an appraisal for early catechumen waiting in line for baptism, is a subtle attempt at proselytism.
“The indiscretion of the examiners is not only unfair, offensive but also a damning indictment on the Lagos State Ministry of Education.”
He further called on the government to reprimand the perpetrators while either calling for a retake of the exam or the controversial questions be awarded as bonus marks.
“It is, therefore, incumbent on the Ministry to hold culpable those responsible for this sheer imprudence. The authorities must look at providing redress in the interest of justice and fairness and as a matter of priority, must seek to calm frayed nerves by issuing an official statement to denounce the affronting aberration.
“We implore the Lagos State Ministry of Education to either consider having the examination retaken or to award the controversial questions (nos 11, 12 & 14) as bonus marks in the interest of apparently disadvantaged candidates. Going forward, the authorities must ensure scrutiny of the activities of the examining body to forestall a re-occurrence of this travesty.”, he sued.
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