As many as 33 government schools in Jharkhand’s Dumka district have Friday as their weekly off instead of Sunday, apparently without any permission from authorities.
District Education authorities have sought a report into the matter, after which officials said an investigation will be initiated. Incidentally, Dumka is the hometown of chief minister Hemant Soren.
Ten government schools of Dumka’s Shikaripara Block, eight of Ranishwar Block, seven of Saraiyahat Block, two of Jama Block and Jarmundi Block, Kathikund Block and Dumka Block have holidays on Fridays. Most of these institutions sport name boards suffixing “Urdu school” along with the names of the schools.
“We have written a letter to the Block education officers of the 33 schools advising them to enquire into the matter. All the schools have Urdu in their names,” said Sanjay Kumar Das, District Superintendent of Education, Dumka on Thursday.
The official said that no instruction to keep schools closed on Friday has been issued by the department.
“It is being investigated how Urdu is tied to these institutions and under what conditions a weekly holiday on Friday is being offered in government schools. There’s no instruction from the department to keep schools closed on Friday. After receiving the report, we’ll start an investigation,” said Das.
Earlier this week, state Education Minister Jagarnath Mahto had said that he has sought a report after it came to light that schools in some Muslim-dominated areas in Jharkhand were giving leave on Friday instead of Sunday.
Mahto said that as soon as news came to light of the holidays being given in schools, in violation of the government order he called for a meeting with DEOs (District Education Officers) and DSEs (District Teacher Superintendents) of the Jamtara district.
The minister said that he has asked for a report within a week after investigating into the matter. “We are expecting a report regarding this matter within a week. Then we will deliberate over it. The instructions of the government will be followed,” Mahto said.
Das further informed that a few schools in the Dumka district had been observing the weekly holiday on Friday and he has sought a report from the schools of every block of the district. After the report comes, then it will be known how many schools have a holiday on Friday and classes on Sunday. It is also being inquired how many schools are being notified as Urdu schools in the Dumka district.
Moreover, the principals of some government schools confirmed that the schools were giving weekly holiday every Friday instead of Sunday.
Shalini Gudiya Marandi, principal of Urdu Middle School, Kumharpada, Dumka, said that ever since she was posted in this school in 2015, she has been observing that Friday was a weekly holiday.
According to the teacher, the majority of students studying in the school belong to the minority community.
However, the medium of instruction of the schools, which have suffixed ‘Urdu schools to their names is in Hindi and all subjects are taught in the same language similar to other government schools.
Due to Friday being a weekly holiday, the week starts on Saturday in the Urdu Namdhari Government Primary and Middle Schools of the district.
The menu, for the mid-day meals, which has been put up on the walls of the schools listing the various food to be provided on different days says the week begins on Sunday and Friday is marked as a holiday.
An investigation into the matter is underway. (ANI)