Education

PM orders Hindu faith-based schools to close for ‘Ram Naumi’

The Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has instructed the education ministry to ensure all Hindu faith-based schools be closed on Friday for the annual Ramnavami celebration. PM Bainimarama in a statement said this was in line with the practice of previous years and there was no reason to deviate from that practice now. “I have instructed […]

Calvin Prasad

April 14, 2016 10:13 pm

The Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has instructed the education ministry to ensure all Hindu faith-based schools be closed on Friday for the annual Ramnavami celebration.

bainimarama-reddy

PM Bainimarama in a statement said this was in line with the practice of previous years and there was no reason to deviate from that practice now.

“I have instructed my Minister for Education to ensure that all Hindu faith-based schools are to be closed tomorrow to enable Hindu students and teachers to celebrate Ram Naumi, the birth of the Hindu God, Lord Rama.”

“The Minister had originally ruled that these schools be opened because of the amount of lesson time lost to students because of Tropical Cyclone Winston. But he has since accepted my advice on the matter.”

Education Minister Dr. Mahendra Reddy had said on Wednesday that no schools would close for Ram Naumi celebrations as this was outside the gazetted public holidays.  Schools in Fiji, mostly managed by religious group Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha, have been closing on the day for many years.

Dr. Reddy had said schools should be left open for the sake of students from other ethnic backgrounds who are not Hindus, but added that Hindu students were free to remain home for the celebration.

PM Bainimarama also called on the nation to uphold the beliefs of others.

Fiji is a multi-faith country and a central tenet of my Government’s philosophy is that the religious beliefs of all Fijians must be respected.

The strength of our secular state derives from our mutual respect for our respective faiths and we must always uphold the beliefs of others and strive to celebrate with them.

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