Prof offers fasting Muslim students alternative times to sit for finals during #Ramadan
White allows his students to sit for finals either in the morning, as scheduled by the university, or after sundown. Source: Shutterstock

Muslim students at the University of Washington at Bothell have one gem of a professor.

Bryan White, who teaches biology at the university, has allowed his students choose between two scheduled times to take their finals: in the morning at the university-scheduled time or at night after sundown, once Muslim students observing the Ramadan fasting have had something to eat.

“My goal is to support the education of all of my students,” White said, as quoted by USA Today College

“I can’t stress enough that, to me, I did a very simple action.”

Practising Muslims abstain from worldly temptations like food and drinks from sunrise to sundown for a month during Ramadan, in remembrance of the first revelation of Islam’s holy book the Quran to Prophet Muhammad.

In an email sent slightly more than a week before the scheduled exam on June 8, White informed students of the alternative exam time, which were open to all students.

White wrote: “This will enable anyone who fasts to eat at sundown and take the exam after eating (and eat during the exam too :-).”

The kind professor’s action inspired two other instructors at the university to do the same and let students choose an alternative time to take their exam.

White got the idea two years ago when he saw his student do poorly on an exam compared to her other papers during the semester. He later learned she had found it hard to focus as she was fasting for Ramadan then.

People buy food to break fast with at a food market in Jakarta. Source: Reuters/Beawiharta

Both Muslim and non-Muslim students at the university praise White’s move, calling it “fair” and “putting student needs first”.

But this is not the first time the professor shows his care for his students.

According to one student, Soundarya Somasundaram, White has played music or baked cookies for students to ease their pre-exam jitters, generally having “a really good reputation on campus”.

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