A female candidate (name withheld) writing the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) has lamented her ordeals for wearing hijab to examination hall, saying she was temporarily disallowed from writing the exam for wearing hijab in Lagos.
LEADERHIP gathered that she is among others writing the papers at Reufort Secondary school Imalete Alaafia, Ajah area of Lagos State.
Commenting on the development , her mother, Mrs Lateefah Olawuyi told our correspondent that she was sent out of the hall for wearing hijab during biology practical exam on Wednesday and on Thursday and had her hijab forcibly removed during the Biology practical and Mathematics exams respectively.
In her words, “A fat huge man came to the exam centre on Wednesday. He claims to be an external invigilator. He sent my daughter out of the exam hall because she was wearing an Hijab. He came again on Thursday when they were having Mathematics. He then removed her hijab, a friend then gave her turban to use. He still threatened her that he will be at the exam center again today (Friday) to remove her Hijab.
‘’She said she is not the only one wearing Hijab, he asked everyone (about 40 other girls) in the center to remove their Hijabs too.”
This happened despite the fact that West African Examinations Council (WAEC) had repeatedly stated that it does not prevent candidates from registering and writing their exams in their hijab.
“She was able to write the exam after the man had asked her to remove the hijab. He then told her that he would be coming today,” she added.
Mrs Olawuyi said it was not the first time such was happening, recalling that another official believed to have come from WAEC also came to “threaten” candidates in hijab two weeks earlier.
She said a teacher had to relocate the candidate to a lab in the school to continue writing thereafter on the occasion.
Confirming the incident, the examination officer of Reufort Secondary school, Mr Oriyomi Ejigbo told LEADERSHIP Weekend that the man simply identified as Mr Alogba was a WAEC supervisor who had claimed that wearing hijab violates WAEC rules.
“The supervisor explained to them that for the WAEC exam, hijab is not allowed. Others complied but we are only having issue with a particular girl that is using a longer hijab,” he said.
Mr Ejigbo noted that although the school is owned by a Christian, Muslim students were also enrolled there, adding that such an issue was not generic to earlier papers when officials bring examination materials to the centre.
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