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Who made the school holiday announcement?

Holiday news was either confirmed by Sindh Education Department, nor the Governor House Education Secretariat
Karachi, Mar 11: The 'school holiday' announced late Sunday night by a section of the media was confirmed neither by the Sindh Education Department, nor the Governor House Education Secretariat.

Meanwhile, government schools did not open, and private schools had to close after they came to know about the holiday. Authorities concerned, however, refused to accept if they had announced the holiday.

Additional Secretary Education Riaz Memon said that it was none of his concern because he only dealt with matters of services. Additional Secretary Education Academics and Training, Taj Muhammad Silero, said that notifications of this kind were issued by the Chief Secretary and not the Education Department. "I also came to know through the media that schools would be closed on Monday," he said.

Deputy Secretary Implementation and Coordination to Chief Secretary Sindh Naukhaiz Anwar Siddiqi said, however, that the announcement was made by the Sindh Education Department and not by their office.

He said that all holiday announcements about schools and educational institutions were made by the Sindh Education Department. An attendant from Governor House Education Secretariat Press Section also denied that that the department had made the holiday announcement.

Khalid Shah, a representative of private schools, said that they had received hundreds of phone calls from parents to ascertain whether the announcement was correct. "If we had kept schools open against the announcement, it would also have resulted in a show cause notice from the Private Schools Directorate," he said.

What is even more surprising is the fact that a staff member at the Sindh Education Department was not aware of the late-hour development. "I also had to send my children to school but their classes were suspended," he said. "This is not the way to announce a school holiday when almost all children have gone to bed."

It is worth mentioning here that no media outlet quoted the exact source as to who had made the announcement about the holiday, causing hardship for thousands of school children and their parents. What was even more disappointing was the fact that officers concerned in the Sindh Education Department were least bothered to even question the authenticity of the holiday announcement.

Unexpected holiday wastes hard work of hundreds of students
Karachi: The hard work of hundreds of students was wasted when the government announced a holiday for Monday. The announcement, however, was made late Sunday night.

The exams of primary and secondary sections of schools all over Karachi were postponed at the eleventh hour where students got a shock because their whole preparation over the weekend was struck by a "surprise Rabiul Awwal gift" from the government.

"I was studying very hard over the weekend for my Mathematics paper which was scheduled on Monday and then I had the Tuesday off to study for my next paper. Sunday night when I was all set to give the exam, I saw a news ticker saying that Monday is a holiday. Now my Mathematics paper has been forwarded to the end of my final term exams and all my preparation over the weekend ended up in waste," Hamza Ayaz a student of class 8 said.

Ahmad Shahzad a father of two said: "I had to attend a wedding ceremony on Sunday night and my children had an exam on Monday. I hurriedly went to the wedding and came back in an hour so that my kids could sleep on time. This was when I got the news of holiday." He further added that parents and children put so much energy into the exam preparations but sudden paper postponements due to holidays de-motivate children and parents are helpless in such cases. He urged the government to announce such holidays at least a week in advance so that children's efforts do not go in vain.

"This part of the year is always the high time for schools all over Karachi as we are having the final term exams. Examination schedules are made well in advance so that students can prepare according to the date sheet. Sudden holidays like the one on Monday, however, affect the examination schedule badly," said Mrs Naila Asif Khan, an Urdu teacher at Bahria School.

She said that Karachi was always surrounded by holidays due to ethnic clashes and strikes and schools could not finish courses on time. When baseless holidays are added to this, schools have to postpone exams, she said, adding that as a result, admissions for the next sessions were delayed.

"The government should realise the gravity of this issue and that such hasty decisions can affect the education system because we are the ones who are answerable to the parents and students not the government," she said. The News


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