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Jamtara, Jharkhand: State-run schools pressurised to remain shut on Friday as 70% children are Muslims, over 100 schools adopt change. Read details

Along with marking Fridays as weekly offs, many state-run schools in Jamtara, Jharkhand have declared themselves Urdu-medium schools since 70 per cent of the children coming there are Muslims.

On July 8, Friday, the Hindi daily Jagran reported that due to the unprecedented increase in the Muslim population in the Jamtara district in Jharkhand, many government schools have changed their weekly offs from Sunday to Friday after the community exerted pressure. The decision has been taken after the members of the Muslim community residing in those areas compelled the school authorities to do so. As per the report, gradually, more than 100 state-run schools in Jamtara have started observing Friday (Jumma) as a weekly holiday in schools on religious grounds. 

According to the report, neither these institutions are Urdu-medium schools nor have they received any departmental directives to implement the change. However, due to pressure from the parents of Muslim students, who make up more than 70% of the student population at these government schools, the administration has unilaterally decided that Fridays would now serve as students’ weekly holiday instead of Sundays.

Interestingly, as per the official data available with the state education department, out of the 1084 state-run schools on Jamtara, only 15 are Urdu medium schools, where teachers conveniently skip school on Fridays for Jumma prayers. But now, more than 100 state-run schools in Jamtara have officially designated Fridays rather than Sundays as a weekly holiday for all the students as well as the teachers.

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.

Another teacher who has been teaching at a state-run middle school since 2001, told Jagran that 70 per cent of the students in his school are Muslims. He added that one day, all of a sudden, he learnt that Fridays would henceforth be the weekly holiday for the school rather than Sundays. However, until today, they have not received any official intimation regarding the same, said the teacher.

Because Sundays are still the departmental weekly off days they have to mark themselves absent in the school register but they must still report to school on such days since schools have arbitrarily marked Sundays as working days, rued the teacher.

The report further stated that along with marking Fridays instead of Sundays as weekly holidays for school students many government schools in Jamtara, Jharkhand has declared themselves Urdu-medium schools since 70 per cent of the children coming there are Muslims.

Muslim community in Garhwa, Jharkhand gets school prayer changed, stop students from folding hands 

Notably, on July 5 OpIndia reported how in Jharkhand’s Garhwa, some members of the Muslim community got a school prayer, that has been offered for years, changed. They said that since the Muslim community forms 75% of the population, the prayer should be ‘as per them’. The school administration also succumbed to the pressure and changed the prayer.

Not only this, but the Muslim community also objected to folding hands during the prayer and got the same to stop. Hindus fold their hands while offering prayer, greeting in ‘namaste’ and bow down their head as a mark of respect. The school administration said that for the past few months the people from the Muslim community have been coming and creating a ruckus demanding a change of prayer.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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