The Jharkhand authorities has mentioned that there have been 407 colleges within the state that had been declared “Urdu schools”, and 509 colleges that have been “illegally” giving a weekly off on Friday as a substitute of Sunday. The assertion by minister Alamgir Alam got here in response to a query within the state Assembly by Sahibganj MLA Anant Ojha of the BJP.
Alam mentioned 350 of the 407 colleges had since eliminated the phrase ‘Urdu’ from their names, and that 459 of the 509 colleges had “rectified” the transfer to provide Fridays off. “Orders have been passed to initiate action against erring officials,” the minister added.
In January 2021, orders by Jharkhand’s Primary Education Directorate confirmed that the weekly offs on Fridays had been cancelled after which reinstated 9 days later after objections have been raised.
A letter by the Primary Education Directorate dated January 22, 2021 mentioned that after the Friday offs have been cancelled, “Various teachers’ associations have come forward to keep the weekly holiday as on Friday as it was earlier. Therefore, after receiving requests from teachers’ associations, all Urdu schools will maintain weekly leaves on Friday, and Sunday will be a working day.”
The controversy took off in Jharkhand after colleges with ‘Urdu’ of their names in Jamtara district have been dropped at the limelight. However, a district official in Jamtara mentioned, “It was a practice since at least the formation of Jharkhand that weekly offs were given on Friday instead of Sunday in government schools in minority areas. The addition of the word ‘Urdu’ in the names of schools is a recent phenomenon.”
A supply within the Education Department mentioned, “The Directorate had changed years-old tradition of Friday leaves in Urdu schools and had brought uniformity while bringing out a leave calendar in all government schools. However, there was a furore in some sections, and then the Department was ordered to maintain the status quo ante. The recent controversy erupted after the media brought this to the limelight.”