Wednesday, August 26, 2015
WAEC EXAMINATION TIMETABLE IS AN INVITATION TO CHAOS
26th August, 2015
WAEC EXAMINATION TIMETABLE IS AN
INVITATION TO CHAOS
The timetable of the November/December General Certificate Examination (GCE) of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) which is expected to begin next week shows that some of the subjects will be taken between 1 pm and 3 pm on Fridays.
The implication of this is that Muslim candidates are likely to miss some of their papers unless they choose to skip the Jum’ah services on those days. This is tantamount to denial of Allah-given fundamental rights of those candidates. It is a flagrant breach of Section 38 (i) & (ii) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) rejects this anti-Muslim timetable released by WAEC. It is malicious, baseless, illegal, and unconstitutional. It is also most insensitive, parochial and provocative. This timetable is designed to cause chaos.
We invite the Nigerian authorities to visit WAEC’s website (registration.waecdirect.org) and click on the timetable link to confirm our allegation. WAEC has fixed its examinations between 1 pm and 3 pm of every Friday from 11th September to 2nd October as shown below:
1. Friday 11th September, 2015: Forestry 2 (Essay) 13hrs to 15 hrs
2. Friday 18th September 2015: Government2 (Essay) 13 hrs to 15 hrs
3. Friday 25th September, 2015: Further Mathematics 14 hrs to 15.30 hrs
4. Friday 2nd October, 2015: Applied Electricity2 13 hrs to 14 hrs
5. Friday 2nd October, 2015: Applied Electricity1 14 hrs to 15 hrs
We remind WAEC that Jum’ah service every Friday is not a design of homo sapien. It has divine and scriptural basis in Qur’an 62:9-11.
Any attempt therefore to circumspect it by any means constitutes a challenge to divine authority. This is bound to be counter-productive with its dire consequences for our country particularly at this crucial period when Nigeria needs prayers to survive.
We assert that WAEC’s sectional timetable is not likely to affect candidates alone as all service providers who happen to be Muslims are bound to be affected. We wonder why no examination subjects were fixed for Sundays if indeed WAEC is under any stress for time. This development has again underlined the justification for Muslims’ agitation for a workfree Friday.
It further exposes the social imbalance in the Nigerian system today. Everything is in favour of Christians because the colonial master was a Christian and he bequeathed a legacy of a pro-Christian and anti-Muslim culture to Nigerians on the eve of his departure in 1960. Justice demands that this system should have been reviewed long ago, at least to integrate Nigerian Muslims and give them a sense of belonging.
MURIC charges the Federal Government (FG) to do the needful. Nigerian Muslims have become endangered species hounded from pillar to post. There is no freedom of worship for them. Their rights are violated at will and nobody says or does anything about it. Muslim victims are called names and stereotyped when they try to resist. All these must stop if indeed we are serious about the change mantra.
FG should call WAEC to order. By the way, what is the role of the Federal Ministry of Education in matters such as this? Is it not expected to protect candidates from this kind of abuse? Didn’t the ministry have any input into WAEC’s timetable? Or did somebody somewhere fail to perform his/her duty?
We appeal to members of the National Assembly (NASS) to wade into the matter. WAEC must be invited to explain the raison d’etre for this Islam-bashing timetable. NASS is the voice of the voiceless and it should stand up to be counted on a matter which is capable of causing social pandemonium.
MURIC is a dialogue-loving human rights organization. Therefore we will not issue threats. It is hoped that FG and indeed WAEC will take this statement as an offer of dialogue.
MURIC will not be held responsible if aggrieved candidates, their parents and sympathizers hold peaceful protests in WAEC offices should WAEC go ahead with this abominable, archaic and contemptuous timetable which is designed to compel Muslim candidates to sit for examination during Jum’ah service.
MURIC will not stand akimbo while Nigerian Muslims are being humiliated and treated with contempt. We are all equal partners in the Nigerian project and we will employ every available constitutional means to resist the intimidation of Muslims in this country.
Unless it is a deliberate assault on the collective body of the Nigerian Muslim Ummah, WAEC is seriously advised to review the timetable before the commencement of examinations. A stitch in time saves nine.
In the meantime MURIC appeals to Muslims nationwide to eschew violence, to remain law abiding and to patiently await FG’s reaction to this highly combustible issue.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)