The Ministry of Education in Akwa Ibom State has declared that the ongoing SSII promotion examinations will continue today, Tuesday, 20th July, 2021 in spite of the public holiday.
However, an Islamic human rights organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has condemned the announcement. MURIC described the action of the ministry and the state government as Bohemian, arrogant, insensitive and intolerant.
MURIC’s statement was circulated to the media on Tuesday, 20th July 2021 by its director and founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The statement reads:
“Our attention has been drawn to an announcement made by the Ministry of Education in Akwa Ibom State to the effect that the ongoing SSII promotion examinations will continue today, Tuesday, 20th July, 2021 despite the public holiday declared by the Federal Government.
“A brief statement issued by the Ministry of Education, Akwa Ibom State, reads, ‘Please note that the JSS2 promotion exams will continue on Tuesday despite the public holidays. SS2 students, parents and principals of schools should adhere strictly. Thanks. All senior secondary two (SS2) and junior secondary three (JSS3) students are expected to be in school on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 to continue their examinations. For Management.’
“We are shocked to our marrows at the level of acrobatic religiousity which some state governments are manifesting towards Muslims. The government of Akwa Ibom State is fully aware that there is a remarkable percentage of Muslim population made up of both indigenes and non-indigenes in the state. The children of these Muslims are in Akwa Ibom schools.
“The fact that the state’s Ministry of Education ignored these people and insisted on continuing examinations on Salah days prove that it is not prepared to coexist with any other religion. It is also impunity of the highest order for the state government to ignore the declaration of today and tomorrow by the Federal Government as public holidays and to insist on holding examinations on public holidays. This is Bohemian, arrogant, insensitive and intolerant.
“We strongly condemn the state government’s decision to hold examinations during a Muslim festival and on a public holiday. We wonder what the reactions and comments will be if a core Northern state should do something similar on Christmas day.