Hindi, Gujarati medium schools united by board, divided by vacations
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Urdu and Hindi/Gujarati medium municipal schools have different vacation schedules
Despite the fact that government schools in the city are affiliated to the same board, they follow different criteria and schedule for vacations. Among various reasons cited by the authorities, it is the dominance of a particular community in a school that serves as a deciding factor for these holidays.
Though the maximum number of holidays announced by schools follow the limit of 80 days in an academic session (as mandated by the state education department), schools follow their own list of vacations, suiting local festivals and occasions celebrated by different communities.
For instance, the list of vacations of Urdu and Hindi/Gujarati medium municipal schools in Ahmedabad reflects a huge variation. In the entire list of vacations between these schools — other than summer and Diwali vacations — mostly differ.
The schools in Hindi, Gujarati and all other mediums (other than Urdu) have official holidays for Rathyatra, Parsi New Year, Pateti, Ramnavmi, Sindhi festival Cheti Chand, Ganesh Chaturthi, Janmashtmi, Sheetla Satam and various other Hindu festivals and occasions. While, the Urdu medium schools follow holidays on Hazrat Imam Jafrani Niyaz, Shabey Mehraj, Shabey Barat, Shabey Kadra, Jumatulvida, Gyahrvi Sharif among other Muslim festivals.
"The list of vacations has been prepared after keeping in mind majority of the community being represented by the students. If it is not followed in this manner, it will certainly disrupt studies. This is the reason that the education department has a different list that has a balance of all the major national festivals but municipal schools follow their own two lists," said Jagdish Bhavsar, chairman of municipal school board.
Not only on different days, this trend was also followed for entire on month in Urdu and Gujarati medium schools during Ramzan that coincides with the Hindu religious month of Shravan that falls in the month of July-August. During this month, students of Urdu medium schools were given an exemption of three hours (or half day) on Fridays while students of Gujarati medium on Mondays.