Now, Diwali vacations to be cut short by 2 days
Following the hue and cry raised by the Association of Concerned Catholics (AOCC) over the arbitrary cancellation of Christmas holidays to compensate for the two additional holidays granted for Ganeshotsav by the education department, school education minister on September 19 announced that the compensatory holidays would be adjusted in the Diwali vacations. Diwali vacations will now be cut short by two days and start on November 1 and end on November 18.
Speaking about the decision, Judith Monteiro, secretary of AOCC, said that due to the confusion regarding the declaration of holidays, the minority commission had sought a meeting with the school education minister to clarify the same. “On September 19, the meeting was held in which apart from Rajendra Darda and additional chief secretary J.S. Saharia, Bishop Elias Gonsalves, president of Maharashtra Catholic Association for Education, Janet D’souza, vice-chairperson, state minorities commission, Rev Fr George Athaide, secretary, ABE and Rev Fr (Dr) Francis Swamy, assistant secretary, ABE were also present,” said Ms Monteiro who was representing AOCC.
AOCC was the first to raise an objection to education officer R.R. Bhise’s decision to allow two extra days leave for all schools in the city for Ganeshotsav by saying that the two days would be compensated for from Christmas vacations. AOCC had objected to the discriminatory decision that resulted in Mr Bhise having to assure the Catholic schools that their sentiments would not be hurt. In the meeting, Mr Darda, assured the delegation that the holidays would not be compensated for from the Christmas vacations but rather it would be adjusted from the Diwali vacations.