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  • Nico van der Dussen
    English exam paper offends religious groups http://www.bday.co.za/bday/content/direct/1,3523,1237554- 6079-0,00.html RELIGIOUS groups have expressed outrage
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2002
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      English exam paper offends
      religious groups

      http://www.bday.co.za/bday/content/direct/1,3523,1237554-
      6079-0,00.html
      RELIGIOUS groups have expressed outrage about this year's
      Gauteng English Comprehension exam, claiming it had "sexually
      offensive" content.
      The question paper consists of newspaper and magazine articles on
      images of men and their portrayal as sex objects in advertisements
      and magazine covers.
      Pupils were asked to read the text and answer questions such as "why
      gay men were found to be more vulnerable to body image pressures".
      Cyril Harris, chief rabbi of the SA Jewish community, described the
      examination paper as "bordering on pornographic" and questioned its
      logic at a time when government was urging moral regeneration.
      He said he wrote to Gauteng education MEC Ignatius Jacobs after
      complaints from several principals of Jewish religious schools. He
      pointed out to Jacobs that it was "wrong to set such offensive material,
      which upsets the moral sensitivities of pupils and their parents".
      The Muslim community is also believed to be upset by the examination
      paper, and lodged an "informal" complaint.
      The general secretary of the Council of Muslim Theologians, Ebrahim
      Bham, said the content of the paper "went against the teachings of
      religion, including those of Islam". Bham said the council was unable
      to make a formal complaint because of the tight schedule of the
      Ramadan holy month. The matter would be addressed after
      Ramadan.
      Harris said a meeting was subsequently held with Prem Govender, the
      department's senior manager for exams and assessment. Harris said
      Govender explained that the exam intended "to deal with issues
      relevant and pertinent to the youth of today".
      Dec 02 2002 12:00:00:000AM Nontyatyambo Petros Business Day 1st
      Edition
      Monday
      02 December 2002


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