Maharashtra retains schools' 10-day Christmas vacation
Two days after the Catholic community raised a hue and cry over losing two days of Christmas holidays to the ongoing Ganeshotsav, the state government relaxed the norms, an official said here Thursday.
The state education department has permitted all Catholic schools to adjust two extra holidays from regular weekly holidays, instead of decreasing the annual 10-day Christmas vacation, said the Association of Concerned Catholics (AoCC) general secretary Judith Monteiro.
Education Officer R.R. Bhise conveyed the government's decision when a delegation of the Catholic community, including priests and social activists, called on him here Thursday.
Two days ago, top Catholic organisations like AOCC, Catholics For Preservation of Faith and Maharashtra Christian Youth Forum had expressed outrage at the government's decision to cut holidays from the 10-day Christmas vacation and adjust them against the ongoing 10-day Ganeshotsav festival.
The Catholic groups had submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and other top officials.
Three major Catholic organisations said they felt "hurt" by the decision of the state education department to adjust the extra Ganeshotsav holidays against the Christmas vacation.
This year, the state government has granted two additional holidays to all Mumbai schools to enable people take part in Ganeshotsav without worrying about missing school schedules.
The Catholic group took umbrage over the fact that the education department has not declared them as new holidays, but adjusted them against two holidays, Dec 23 and Dec 31, from the annual Christmas vacation.
They said it was difficult to understand how the officials could think of bringing joy to one community while depriving another.
The Catholics demanded that the decision should have been left to the discretion of the schools in the state to adjust the extra holidays granted during Ganeshotsav against their weekly holidays, which could have prevented the present situation.
(Posted on 12-09-2013)