Christmas Day will remain a public holiday: Govt. clarifies
New Delhi, 15 Dec 2014: Facing fierce criticism for allegedly asking schools to remain open on Christmas Day (25 Dec) – which the BJP government at the centre has announced to celebrate as Good Governance Day on the occasion of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday, the Union Human Resource Development ministry today issued a clarification saying Christmas Day will be holiday as usual and no schools have been asked to remain open on that day.
“A section of Media has given a distorted impression that schools have been asked to remain open on 25th December, 2014,” said HRD ministry in a statement. The Times of India English daily today had published a report on front page that the HRD ministry “wants to celebrate the birthdays of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Hindu Mahasabha leader Madan Mohan Malviya by observing ‘good governance day’ on December 25. The BJP government wants CBSE to carry out various activities, like an essay competition, so that students’ participation increases” on that day.
The ministry, however, clarified that on account of public holiday on Christmas Day, all schools will be closed on 25th Dec.
The central government was already facing criticism for appropriating the Gandhi Jayanti (2nd Oct) as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was launched and former prime minister Indira Gandhi’s death anniversary (31st Oct) was commemorated as Sardar Vallabbhai Patel’s birthday. Since it announced to celebrate former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday as ‘Good Governance Day’ on Christmas Day (25th Dec), it was said that after appropriating Gandhis’ days, now the government was eying Christmas Day.
HRD Ministry’s Clarification Statement:
1. This is to clarify that CBSE has not directed any school to remain open on 25th December, 2014. All schools will follow their vacation schedule including vacation /holiday on 25th December as specifically clarified by CBSE.
2. The proposed instructions of the CBSE are to conduct an online essay competition on 24th and 25th December 2014 which is completely voluntary. CBSE has neither issued any circular on its website nor issued any instruction to any school for remaining open on 25th December 2014.
3. Even the CBSE as an office will remain closed as a public holiday on 25th December on account of Christmas Day. For the event of online essay competitions on that day, no official of CBSE is required to come to office for specifically conducting essay competition as the essays will be received online through the specified time schedule.
4. This online essay competition is completely voluntary and the students if they so desire can participate from their homes or any other place which provides online access. There is no requirement for any school to remain open on that day and the school vacations will be adhered to.
5. Navodaya Schools are residential schools. As the vacation pattern in JNVs depend on climatic conditions, the 25th of December 2014 will be celebrated in those schools which do not have any winter break. In such schools, since it is a public holiday on 25th December, the schools will also remain closed that day as no classes would be held. As a residential school, however, the school functions as children continue to remain there and these children will have the opportunity to participate if they so wish in the essay competition. Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti has clarified that no other activities for this competition are being held except the opportunity to submit their essays online voluntarily.
6. Kendriya Vidyalayas are observing vacations during that period and hence all Kendriya Vidyalayas will remain closed. Students of Kendriya Vidyalayas if they so desire can participate voluntarily in the online essay competition from their homes or any other place. Kendriya Vidyalaya has not given any directions for the schools to remain open during the vacations.
7. In view of this, no child or student will be deprived of celebrating the holidays or vacations or participating in their own festivals and religious festivals whole heartedly.
8. No instructions have been issued to State Governments.