EVEN AS confusion prevailed over which date is the official holiday for Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations as the dates declared by the Central and State governments differed, parents were left wondering whether or not to send their children to school on Wednesday.
While the earlier declared holiday for Eid-ul-Fitr was on July 6, later, the date was revised to July 7 by the Central Government, which is the likely date for celebrations. However, the state education department maintained that the official leave for Eid in city schools would be on July 6, as planned earlier.
“The official leave for Eid-ul-Fitr as declared by calendar is July 6 and we have asked schools to follow the same. Except some Urdu schools, which had asked for permission to give leave as per sighting of the moon and declaration of date for Eid, all other schools will be following the earlier declared date,” said Mushtaq Shaikh, primary education officer, Zilla Parishad.
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Meanwhile, school principals said that a lot of social media forwarded messages kept them busy all day. “There were a lot of fake messages doing the rounds that the government has postponed the holiday to July 7. We have decided to cancel the holiday on Wednesday to the next day as we don’t want our Muslim students and teachers to miss out on celebrations. We took extra efforts to inform all parents accordingly to avoid last minute chaos,” said Rajendra Singh, CEO of Priyadarshini School.
At Delhi Public School, principal Neelam Chakravarty said that they were plain lucky that the school had planned for holiday on July 7 from beginning itself, keeping the moon sighting in mind. “Hence, we didn’t have to change any plans and are working on July 6,” she said.
However, not all schools are that lucky as they complained of last minute chaos due to uncertainty on part of the officials. “We have 3,000 students studying in our school and at the last minute, we cannot declare a holiday for them without any intimation,” said Nandkumar Kakirde, secretary of Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan.
Most school principals have decided to do give an extra day off to Muslim students who wish to celebrate Eid on July 7. “We cannot change the academic calendar but we don’t want Muslim students to miss the festivities so we can give them an extra day off,” said Binita Poonekar, principal of Army Public School, Southern Command.