Human Resource Development (HRD) issued a circular on 9 December saying only an online essay competition was planned for the Christmas day and it was never decided that the children would have to come to school on the Christmas day. The issue was debated in the Parliament by senior Union ministers. A leading daily in India has reported that the government is planning to keep the schools open on the day and hold declamation and quiz contests, after which the topic became serious.
The HRD Minister has accused the newspaper of misleading the readers as it was already in documents from 10 December circular that said there would be ‘declamation and quiz contests’ in the schools and ‘organizations of various activities through child cabinets in the schools’ for 25 December. Thinking that these events could not be possible without the physical presence of students in the schools the newspaper raised the question on whether the schools would remain open or not at the Christmas Day.
The circular points out to the fact clearly that 25 December would be observed as “Good Governance Day” and would mark the birthday of A B Vajpayee and birth anniversary of Madan Mohan Malviya. The circular also said schools to “ensure active participation of your students” for a declamation contest, quiz contest, film screening and ‘innovative programmes’.