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Cape Town school instructed to reschedule exams to accommodate Eid celebrations

In the letter, the school said because the majority of its pupils were Christians, it would be closed on Ascension Day, 30 May, and rescheduled the exam for 5 June, the day of the Muslim celebration of Eid.

Picture: Pixabay.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Education Department said it had instructed a Ruyterwacht school to reschedule exams that were meant to be written on the day Muslims are expected to celebrate Eid.

A recent letter issued by De Waveren Primary School to its pupils resulted in criticism on social media.

In the letter, the school said because the majority of its pupils were Christians, it would be closed on Ascension Day, 30 May, and rescheduled the exam for 5 June, Eid. The school proposed that its Muslims pupils come in early on the day to write the exam.

"We also respect the Muslim faith and understand that Eid is on 5 June. We suggest that the learners attend the exams at 09:00 and then leave to celebrate after completing the paper if it is at all possible."

The provincial educations department's Bronagh Casey said the letter had since been retracted, adding no exams would take place on the day in question at the school.

“The school has issued a new letter indicating examinations have been rescheduled so that learners are able to celebrate Eid,” Casey said.

"The Western Cape Education Department has, on numerous occasions reiterated that schools should take into account the religious beliefs of pupils during exam time.”