'No intention to open schools on Christmas'

The Central government on Tuesday hit back at the Opposition outcry against celebration of ‘Good Governance Day’ on Christmas in Navodaya schools.

It cited a 1987 order issued by the Rajiv Gandhi-led government that forbade Navodaya schools, which are residential schools, from closing on national holidays and, instead, asking them to observe all festivals. Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti directed the schools in 1987 that all festivals should be celebrated in the Vidyalayas and competitions and such other events should be held on their campuses as students cannot be permitted to go home, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy told Lok Sabha.

He maintained that the NVS directive for conducting offline activities (which included quiz competition and declamation contest) on December 25 confined to Navodaya schools only, which are residential.

“Government has no such intention whatsoever to open schools on Christmas,” he said.
The government’s clarification came after Trinamool Congress leader Saugatha Roy raised a point of order in the Lok Sabha, charging that the Human Resource Development minister Smriti Irani misled the House by giving incorrect information on Monday. He demanded a correction by the Minister.

Congress member K C Venugopal also gave a similar notice and sought a clarification, alleging that the government’s denial was not factual. Flashing some “circulars”, he said the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools were holding activities to observe ‘Good Governance Day’ on December 25 to mark former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday.

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