In-charge officials direct a class 10 student wearing hijab arriving in line with other students before the commencement of the annual SSLC exams at a government school in Bangalore on March 28, 2022. (Manjunath Kiran / AFP)
Bengaluru: A few Muslim girls who wished to appear for their Class 10 board examination wearing hijab were denied entry in Karnataka on Monday citing the recent High Court verdict.
However, a majority of Muslim students chose to write the exam without hijab, saying that the exam was more important for them than wearing the headscarf in exam halls, sources said.
Authorities of an exam centre in a school in Hubballi district sent back Muslim girls, who came to write exams sporting the hijab.
A similar scene was witnessed in a government school in Ilkal town of Bagalkote district where Muslim students were denied entry to write the SSLC board exams.
In Bengaluru, a Muslim supervisor was suspended for wearing hijab on duty.
The full bench of Karnataka High Court had recently ruled that hijab is not an essential religious practice and everyone should abide by the uniform dress rule.
The Karnataka government had made it clear that everyone has to follow the High Court ruling or else they will not be allowed to write the exam.
According to the Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board (KSEEB), over 8.69 lakh students had enrolled for the exam but 20,994 students did not turn up. Last year, the absentees were only 3,769.
Last year, the attendance was 99.54 per cent, which came down to 97.59 per cent this year.
Among the 8.48 lakh students who appeared for the exam, 8.11 lakh were fresh candidates, 35,509 were private fresh ones and 1,701 were repeaters.
Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister B C Nagesh said the exam took place smoothly in the state.
After two years, full-scale SSLC exams took place. Children came to the exam centres excited and wrote the exam. Parents too happily sent their children to write the exam while teachers too were happy to conduct the exam, Nagesh said in a statement.