Bhubaneswar, July 31 (LocalWire): Around a hundred government-run primary schools remain open on Sundays in a couple of districts contrary to school academic schedules prevalent in other parts of the state.
The school and mass education department have approved of such practice abiding by the parents appeal for rescheduling on religious consideration.
In a cluster of villages in Keonjhar and Kendrapara districts, children turn up for classroom teaching on Sundays.
For them, Monday is the declared holiday – the time for break from study and leisure.
The unconventional and unusual practice is in vogue for almost three decades in 42 schools in Deogaon circle in Ghasipura block of Keonjhar district.
Authorities of 48 primary schools in Kendrapara district also follow the same practice of Monday being the weekend holiday.
The Deogaon gram panchayat in Keonjhar district is home to Kushaleswar Shiva temple and attracts thousands of devotees on Mondays.
The large congregation and involvement of parents in religious rituals on Mondays has led to drop in attendance in schools.
After locals sought the schools’ closure on Mondays, the then education department authorities rescheduled the weekend holiday.
This has been going on since 1991, said Shiba Prasad Jena, president, Primary Teachers’ Association, Ghasipura block.
‘There is nothing wrong in it. The rescheduling of working days was necessitated then as the classroom wore empty look on Mondays,’ he said.
‘I was transferred to the Deogaon school two years back.
Initially, I found it weird to work on Sundays.
However, I have become accustomed to the schedule now.
The students’ turnout on Sundays remain the same as during the rest of the week days,’ Jayantibala Devi, headmistress, Deogaon primary school, said.
‘The practice of Monday being a holiday is prevalent in these villages with governmental approval.
We do not want to effect any rescheduling of school holiday as it will affect the religious sentiments of the locals, said Kapileswar Mishra, District Education Officer, Keonjhar.
The practice of Sunday schooling is also in vogue in schools located in Muslim-inhabited pockets of Kendrapara districts.
The schools remain open on Sundays while Friday, the auspicious day for recital of Namaz for Muslims, is the declared holiday.
‘We do not send our wards to school on Fridays.
The loss of classroom teaching is compensated as classes are held on Sunday.
We are thankful to the government for rescheduling the working days as desired by us,’ said Mohammad Jashimuddin, a guardian of Jayipura locality in Kendrapara town.