The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) exam board has been criticised for asking pupils to ‘Explain briefly why some people are prejudiced against Jews’ in its GCSE Religious Studies exam.
The exam regulator Ofqual will take ‘follow- up actions’ if appropriate, the BBC reports. Education Secretary Michael Gove said: “To suggest that anti-Semitism is can ever be explained, rather than condemned, is insensitive and, frankly, bizarre. AQA needs to explain how and why this question was included in an exam paper.”
Jon Benjamin, Chief Executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said that that the question was ‘incredibly badly worded’ because it invites students to list things that are objectionable about Jews.
In a statement, AQA said that the question did not attempt to justify prejudice and emphasised that it was not intended to cause offence: “The question concerned acknowledges that some people are prejudiced, but we did not intend to imply in any way that prejudice is justified.” It added that the principal examiner for this exam has been reviewing the papers and has found that students have understood the question in the sense that was intended.
Do you think the question was offensive? Did any of your pupils sit the exam?