File photo: African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - UCT students of various faiths will have one less stressor on their plates during next year’s examinations, after the exam timetable was released indicating "exam-free days" during Eid-ul-Fitr and Diwali.

The decision came after a group of students from various religious backgrounds petitioned against examinations taking place on religious holidays.

UCT Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) current affairs head Aaliyah Vayej said she was overjoyed with the decision, which came after years of engaging with campus administration.

“Myself and my team engaged for the past two years with the administration system and office of inclusivity to pragmatically represent diversity and the needs of 27000 students at UCT.

“No students should have to choose between academic aspirations and religious beliefs. I wrote an exam on Eid last year and this year. It’s not ideal when you’re under academic pressure and have to perform in that environment,” said Vijay.

Tanya Magaisa, who helped spearhead the petition against examinations on religious holidays, said she was happy with the decision and hoped it became entrenched in the university’s handbook.

UCT registrar Royston Pillay said the 2019 academic calendar made provision for “exam-free days” for religious days.

He added that for students observing Shavuot, no exams would be scheduled after 5pm on June 6, and the rest of the Shavuot celebration would be exam-free.

“UCT will continue to make further provision whereby individual students who object on religious grounds to taking any examination may apply for permission to take a deferred examination,” said Pillay.


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Cape Argus