Lakshadweep Education Department in an order dated December 17 declared that the schools in the island will now conduct classes six days a week and all Sundays will be holidays. Earlier, besides Sunday, Fridays also used to be holidays – a decades-old privilege of the students in the islands on religious grounds.
As per new schedule, the classes will be held six days a week (Monday to Saturday) from 9:30 am to 12: 30 pm for forenoon session and 1:30 pm to 4: 30 pm for afternoon session. There will be four periods in each session
Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal said ever since the schools were opened in islands for providing education for students some six decades ago, Friday was holiday and Saturday up to half-day was working day.
He said this decision was taken without discussing it with any of the bodies of schools, the district panchayat or with the local MP.
P P Abbas, Vice President cum Counsellor of the Lakshadweep District Panchayat, wrote a letter to the Advisor to Administrator Praful Khoda Patel, requesting him to reconsider the order of the Education Department to address the sentiments of the students and parents.
In his letter, he said that the ethnic population of Lakshadweep are Muslims and to their faith, Friday is a holiday, and offering Juma Namaz on Friday is considered to be an unavoidable religious practice.
(With PTI inputs)