Students of primary schools in two wards of the Jamtara district, Jharkhand, are being given holidays on Fridays instead of Sundays, citing the Muslim population in such schools.
Under the guise of the announcement that permits Urdu schools to stay closed on Friday, these schools are being shuttered. The state administration has mandated an investigation into this matter.
According to local reports, this is being done at the elementary schools run by the villages of Karmatand and Narayanpur, where the majority of the residents are Muslims.
Students from other castes also study in these schools. However, 70% of pupils are from Muslim backgrounds. The fact that Muslims do Friday prayers is one of the key justifications for Friday school closures.
On the notice boards of these schools, the change in the weekly holiday is also noted.
There are 1,084 primary schools functioning in the district, but only 15 of them are registered as Urdu schools, according the data from the Education Department.
However, scores of additional schools were also supposedly designated as Urdu schools under pressure from the Village Education Committee and the locals.
A teacher of one of these state-run schools told Jagran, on conditions of anonymity, that initially, just a small number of students’ parents had requested the school administration to observe Friday as the weekly off day. The authorities, however, promptly convened a meeting to discuss this and issued arbitrary directives to observe the modification in the weekly off. This arbitrary instruction began to gradually become the new norm in these state-run institutions, and it has now persisted for a number of years, said the teacher.