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Ramadan plea blow

THERE are no plans to postpone the start of the school year until after Ramadan, the Education Ministry said yesterday.

It comes after MP Abdullah Al Dossary called for the new school year, scheduled to begin during the first week of September, to start after Ramadan.

He said that it would be difficult for parents as well as children who are fasting to start the school year during Ramadan.

However, Education Minister Dr Majid Al Nuaimi said that the new school year would begin as scheduled.

He said that timing in Ramadan will be changed as usual, from 7.45am to 12.55 pm.

"School days accredited by the Unesco are at least 180 days and any country that has fewer days is not internationally accredited," said Mr Al Nuaimi.

"If the ministry decided to start the new school year after Ramadan, then the summer vacation will be postponed to the end of July next year," he added.

"This delay will cause changes in the teachers' contracts who were brought in from abroad and it will also cause changes in school schedules and maintenance programmes that schools follow," said Mr Al Nuaimi.

Mr Al Dossary had said that Bahrain could follow neighbouring countries such as Saudi Arabia where they have postponed the new school year until after Ramadan.

The issue have been discussed in the parliament but nothing happened about it, he added.

This was backed by MP Jassim Al Saeedi, who said that the last 10 days of Ramadan should be holidays.

Mr Al Saeedi said the MPs have demanded more than once that the last 10 days of Ramadan should be given as vacation for the students because they need it to prepare for Eid Al Fitr, though the Education Ministry said it would be very hard to adjust the tight school schedule. However, MP Adel Al Mo'awda said that delaying the school year until the end of the month was not a good idea because students would lose school days and it would teach them to be lazy. According to Bahraini astronomers, Ramadan is likely to begin on September 1 and end on September 30.



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