No order asking schools to stay open on Dec 25

New Delhi: The Union Government on Monday clarified in the Lok Sabha that there is no CBSE circular asking schools to remain open on December 25 to observe ‘Good Governance Day’ and an online essay competition to mark the day is voluntary in nature.

A media report on Monday morning had said the union human resource development ministry plans to celebrate the birthday of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as ‘Good Governance Day’ on December 25 and this would involve getting students to participate in the essay competition and other activities

But it is now clarified that the celebrations were limited only to Navodaya schools which did not have a winter break. Citing that they are residential schools, the HRD ministry said that students who stay back “will have the opportunity to participate, if they so wish, in the essay completion” which it reiterated was being held “online”.

‘‘The media report is factually false,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in Parliament after Opposition parties attacked the government. Jaitley said, “HRD Minister Smriti Irani has informed me that no such instruction has been issued, no school will function (that day). Only an online essay competition (is being organised). That’s all.”

CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said, “On Gandhi Jayanti, you have a programme of Swacch Bharat; on Christmas, you want a programme for good governance; then, there is an entire campaign on religious conversions that’s going on. All this is a whole package that we think is very dangerous to the very constitutional guarantees that have been given.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier this month told his party that December 25 would be celebrated as “Good Governance Day” to honour Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his birthday.

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