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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:07 am 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
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Location: Birmingham
Just wondering if anyone had an idea of the date for the KE/BV consortium exam this year?

My understanding is that it is likely to be 5 November. If so, that is bad news for us as that date is likely to be Eid al Adha, or the day before Eid (Arafah) on which we will be fasting.
Hmmm, I am wondering what to do if that is the case.
I would much prefer ds2 sits the 'proper' exam on the 'proper' date than be left mooching about for weeks in limbo waiting for another one.
On the other hand, if it is Arafah, then he will be fasting, so no water that day, and if it is Eid, then that is not really fair on him (11 plus exam on Christmas day, anyone?) ...plus we have Eid prayer at 8.30am...

Does anyone know whether the date has been set? There is nothing on the consortium website.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:13 am 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Worth a call to the Admissions department, just in case they haven't noticed the possibility of a clash with Eid.

This happened in Bucks a couple of years ago and there was panic in the chicken coop when everyone realised. Some children had to delay taking the test.

It is made even more difficult by the fact that the exact date of Eid isn't known until shortly beforehand, if I understand it correctly?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:48 am 
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Location: Birmingham
Yes, the date cannot be determined so far in advance, as the Muslim calendar is lunar and the months can be 29 or 30 days, with the start of the next month being determined by the sighting of the moon.
So some Muslims base this on scientific calculation/observatory view, others by seeing if the moon has been sighted in their country or region - others by saying the moon can be sighted anywhere in the world, or perhaps their families' country of origin. So even the Muslims can't always agree when Eid is, and you will find them occasionally celebrating it on different days.

Eid al Fitr is on 1 Shawwal so you have little or no notice - the moon is sighted the night before and then it is Eid. Eid al Adha (the one we're talking about here) is on 10 DhulHijjah so you effectively have 10 days notice of exactly when it will be.

Obviously we can make a general guess now that Eid could be on Sat 5 Nov, Sun 6 Nov or even Mon 7 Nov. But many Muslims (with no racism intended) are not the most organised of people and do not think when Eid is themselves until soon beforehand. So they will probably register for the test without registering that it may be Eid (if you get what I mean). And then lots of children may miss out as families decide that they cannot miss Eid prayer. My Mum works for the DVLA and they are always inundated with requests to cancel driving tests before Eid, as people have just realised when it is!

I know a few years ago the test did take place on Eid al Fitr. But I am not sure just how much disruption that caused, as it was some time ago.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:16 pm 
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Location: Birmingham
Phoned the office. They have confirmed that the test is indeed 5 November :( :( :(


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:45 pm 
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Location: Birmingham
Suggest you tick the box on the application form:-

Quote:
If your child is unable to sit tests on Saturdays for religious reasons we are able to arrange an alternative date. Please tick the box on the registration form and enclose a supporting letter from your religious leader if you would like us to do this.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:14 pm 
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The lady I spoke to was very helpful - but she did say that for those who cannot take the Saturday test for religious reasons, they actually sit the exam the next day - Sunday. Which is no use to me, as I have no idea until the end of October, whether Eid will indeed be Saturday or Sunday. Bit of a 'catch 22', really. We agreed that I should register him as normal, and then if Eid was announced for Saturday, phone the office, run to the Imam to get a letter (easier said than done), and take the next day test or the sick test a little while later...but she did admit that we would not be the only family in Birmingham affected, and that the admissions dept. needed to consider this.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:04 pm
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um wrote:
We agreed that I should register him as normal, and then if Eid was announced for Saturday, phone the office, run to the Imam to get a letter (easier said than done), and take the next day test or the sick test a little while later....


Is it possible for you to get a letter from your Imam before the exam? He can post date the letter and then you have it with you and can use it if needed.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:56 pm 
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Quote:
that date is likely to be Eid al Adha, or the day before Eid (Arafah) on which we will be fasting.
I can see the problem if it's the day of Eid itself, but when I was hearing appeals, I remember Muslim parents telling me that fasting was optional for children. Has it changed?

_________________
Etienne


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:29 am 
At the age of 10-11 fasting is definitely optional, there is no compulsion whatsoever to fast at this age. 11+ comes around but once in a lifetime for a child (thank goodness), be pragmatic about it.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:09 am 
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Location: Birmingham
I think there are 3 issues here;
1) It could be the Day of Arafah
2) It could be Eid
3) This will not only affect just me, or a few dozen families, (fair enough if it was a small minority) but literally a thousand or more families, and could potentially cause administrative chaos.

It is not so simple just to say that children do not have to fast (you are right, it is not obligatory until puberty). My ds2 will be 11, so hardly a young child, and has fasted this day for a few years. Without being preachy - it is a day of huge religious and spiritual importance, so it will be difficult for me to happily tell him not to fast. Plus, if I do not wake him up for the pre-dawn meal in order to fast, he will get very upset..and who wants an upset child on the day of the exam? It will probably be easier to let him fast.

Secondly, if it is Eid, how can we drop him at the exam if we are standing in Eid prayer? And are Christian children expected to get up on Christmas morning and go to the 11 plus exam?

Thirdly, there are at least hundreds of families going through the same problems. If the exam goes ahead on Arafah, I guess at least half the Muslim children will be fasting. If it goes ahead on Eid, that is clearly not fair either!
According to Birmingham council in January 2010, 61% of children in Birmingham schools (Secondary and Primary) are non-white. That figure must be higher for Primary schools alone. And many Muslims (from the UK, Arab countries or the Balkans) actually classify themselves as white). We can either feel threatened by this or embrace our diversity as a strength (that includes acknowledging it!)
I am British - (but actually English in origin too - I have Great-Uncles who died fighting for our country) and I pay my taxes (plenty of them :roll: ) so is it too much to ask that my faith is taken into account when planning such an important exam?


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