The Maharashtra board in theory is not against any student wearing hijabs or burkhas during exams, but on Friday, five girl students were asked to remove it before sitting for their Staff Selection Commission exam in Mumbai.

The brother of one of the students told Hindustan Times, “A woman teacher refused to let them enter the school building in a hijab…They had to take off their hijab in the school corridor, in front of other students.”

He said that taking off the hijab meant his sister had to write the exam in a night wear since a woman teacher would not allow her to enter otherwise. 

b’Representational image | Source: PTI’

The report said that the girls’ families, who were completely taken aback by the incident, contacted the board to find out if such a rule existed against wearing of hijab during exams. 

There is no rule in the state board that disallows students from wearing hijabs or burkhas. If a supervisor suspects that a student is hiding notes underneath, then a woman teacher can take the child aside, ask her to remove the hijab and frisk her. If they do not find anything suspicious, they should allow the student to don the garment again and continue writing the paper,” Siddheshwar Chandekar, secretary of the board’s Mumbai division, told HT. 

The report further mentions that the parents who were upset over the incident did not stop their investigation there. They contacted the National Students Union of India (NSUI) to meet the principal of the school, who apologised for the incident and said that the invigilator was new and was not aware of the rules. 

Feature image source: Representational image | Reuters