Friday, 23 January 2015


The West African Examination Council (WAEC) has said it will not make an exception to their requirement for passport pictures after some Islamic voices expressed concern over their insistence that Muslim girls need to remove a religious apparel, the hijab, before they could take their photos for registration.

Public Relations Officer of WAEC Agnes Tei Cudjor told Joy News wants to properly identify candidates registering for the exams. According to WAEC, as long as the ear and parts of the forehead can be seen they do not have any problem with a photo.

A directive by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) asking Muslim girls to remove their headscarves or hijab, before taking passport pictures for their Basic Education Certificate Exam (BECE) registration has displeased the Islamic Unit of the Ghana Education Service (GES).

Joy News correspondent Kwame Owusu Peprah has reported that the tussle over religious rights is happening in some basic schools in the Western Region.

The Islamic unit finds the position of the WEAC officials unacceptable, describing it as an attempt to violate their religious freedom.

WEAC's directive is asking that the girls show at least their ears and part of the forehead while taking the passport photos.

Head of the GES’ Islamic unit Alhaji Mohammed Sanni told Joy News “the hijab is part of our Islamic traditions. If you take off the hijab then where lies the Islam?”

He said the Unit has petitioned WAEC over the directive. Alhaji Sanni accused WAEC of  “dilly-dallying” with their petition and warned that the unit would not hesitate to go to court, if their religious rights are disrespected.

Alhaji Said Jallo who is part of an Islamic-based NGO also expressed frustrations at the directive. He was even more displeased that in another school, he claims, the girls were made to re-take the pictures after they took them with the hijab on.

“We want to be obedient to Allah. We are the custodians of these girls. So we say we are not going to allow anybody to trample on our rights.”

Source: Joynews Ghana


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