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MURIC wants proper capturing of Muslim girls for WAEC

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The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has alleged that the software deployed to capture the 2019/2020 West African Senior School Certificates Examination (WASSCE) always malfunctions with hijab.

The group called on the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) to review the software by making it hijab-compliant.

MURIC complained that its office has been inundated with reports from Muslim students, their teachers and parents that the software of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) being used for capturing during registration always malfunctions with hijab.

The group alleged that the application was deliberately designed to automatically reject hijab.

Director, MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola in a statement made available to The Guardian, said: “Reports from state branches of MURIC concerning capturing for 2020 WAEC registration has been alarming and disappointing. In faraway Minna, Niger State, at the Hasha International School, students had issues with capturing in hijab. The same reports came in from several secondary schools in Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Lagos, etc and it resulted in the officials asking Muslim students to remove their hijab for capturing since, according to them, the hijab was not being captured by WAEC’s software.

“Here lies the riddle. Several questions come to our minds and it appears only WAEC can answer them. So, over to WAEC. Muslims pay the same amount for WAEC as all others. Why are our daughters being victimized? Why are they being set aside for embarrassment? Why must their religion become a source of discomfort for them? Why are the Muslim parents being made to go through psychological trauma?

“And now to fundamental issues that are directly connected to WAEC’s software in the questions. Who designed the software? Why do Muslim female students use the software not capturing the hijab? Why would it be designed specifically not to capture Muslim females wearing hijab? Are we saying Muslim children cannot be Muslims anymore until they take non-Muslim identities? Why didn’t the designers of WAEC’s software put the hijab into consideration ab initio? Was there any test running before the design was approved? If there was a test running, who supervised the test running and where is the report?

“MURIC demands answers to these questions without delay. Controversies over WAEC registration, stereotyping and maltreatment of Muslim candidates and imposition of anti-Muslim timetables have become recurring decimals over the years. MURIC has intervened peacefully and diplomatically over the years. Yet the controversies keep popping up a year in year out.

“We warn that Nigerian Muslims are running out of patience concerning WAEC’s intransigence and its contemptible treatment of Muslims. This examination body should, therefore, be blamed for any breakdown of law and order over its obnoxious and anti-Muslim policies,” he stated.

Akintola, however, demanded a probe into circumstances surrounding the development, operation, deployment, and application of the software being used by WAEC.

The group suggested the involvement of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), a Federal Government agency, in the investigation.


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