U.K. Allows Jewish School to Remove Evolution Questions From Science Exams

Secular body says censoring of scientific concepts reveals lack of government concern over minority faith schools not preparing pupils for life in British society.

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Haaretz
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Haaretz

The British government has agreed to allow a Jewish girls school in Hackney, London, to remove questions on evolution in science exam papers which do not fit in with the school's beliefs.

It was revealed last October that Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls' School had removed questions on evolution from 52 science papers.

The examinations body, OCR, says it was satisfied that the girls did not have an unfair advantage. It now plans to allow the practice, saying it has come to an agreement with the school to protect the future integrity of the exams, the BBC reported.

"The pressure from schools for redaction demonstrates that religious precepts are strongly influencing science classes in some minority faith schools," said Stephen Evans of the National Secular Society in response.

"The censoring of key scientific concepts from science lessons and exams by religious organisations pursuing their own religious agenda compromises children's education. It also reveals a lack of concern from the Government over minority faith schools not preparing pupils for life in wide British society."

The Department of Education has asked for assurances that the children will be taught the full curriculum.

A model dinosaur in Vienna: are Jewish students being deprived of scientific knowledge?Credit: Reuters

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