Muslim Parents Complain Their Children Should Be Exempt from Exams During Ramadan
Parents of Muslim pupils in Germany have complained that their children should not have to take part in any exams due to the stress placed on them by fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
President of the German Teachers’ Association Heinz-Peter Meidinger has complained that Ramadan fasting has caused several problems with Muslim parents including many being “exhausted” due to fasting, Kronen Zeitungreports.
The issues have affected many schools in Berlin because of the high numbers of migrant-background students with Meidinger claiming that parents have specifically requested that their children not be made to take any sort of examination during the Islamic holy month.
“A lot of students take the fast very seriously now,” Meidinger said.
Family Minister Franziska Giffey, of the Social Democrats, said that fasting should not be a focus for children saying: “Children have to drink and eat regularly, otherwise they can no longer follow lessons attentively.”
Giffey added that teachers and others should also make sure classmates were not using peer pressure against Muslim students who were fasting saying: “There should be no discrimination, no matter if someone is fasting or not.”
The demands are not the first time Islamic religious practises has interfered with schooling in a European country. Last year, a Dutch school in the Hague held a class photo day during the Eid al-Adha and two Muslim sisters were unable to take part in the photograph.
After complaints were lodged by the mother of the two young girls, the school was forced to pay out 500 euros to each girl after a discrimination lawsuit was filed. The parents had demanded 10,000 euros, initially.
Ramadan has become much more well-known and practised in Germany since the 2015 migrant crisis with German broadcaster Deutschlandfunk Kulturclaiming that the Islamic holy month is an “old German custom”.