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Uthman
04-21-2009, 07:55 PM
Schools will be allowed to close for Islamic holidays in order to improve attendance rates, under new plans.

Many Muslim children are currently taken out of lessons to celebrate religious festivals such as Eid.

In an attempt to lower levels of classroom absences, Manchester City Council is considering allowing schools attended by large numbers of non-Christians to close on these holy days.

Education departments in some parts of east London, where the majority of pupils are Muslim, already tell schools to close on two days for Eid.

But critics point out that Christianity remains the state religion in England, and claim that communities risk becoming more segregated if different groups are allowed to change the school calendar.

Douglas Murray, director of the Centre for Social Cohesion think tank, said: “Either people are British and go to British schools and have a particular holiday system, or we decide to carve the country up into areas that are Muslim and non-Muslim, and I think that’s what this does.

“To have a quota above which schools are designated as Muslims seems to be, putting it at its mildest, an unhelpful way to bring cohesion to Britain.

“I don’t see why, under pressure, education departments should alter the way in which schools are run.”

English schools currently close for the main Christian festivals of Christmas and Easter, but parents are allowed to take children out of lessons to celebrate other religious festivals.

This means that teachers can be faced with half-empty classrooms in areas with high proportions of non-Christian children, adding to official absence rates.

Manchester has the third worst school attendance rates in the country with a total of 8.2 per cent of lesson time lost. Almost one in 10 of all missed days in the city’s schools is put down to religious observance.

In an attempt to improve the figures, it has been suggested that schools where more than 40 per cent of pupils are likely to take a day off for religious reasons should be allowed to consider closing.

Headteachers will be encouraged to hold teacher training days on the three days permitted for non-Christian festivals, while the traditional school holidays will remain unchanged.

John Edwards, the council’s deputy director of children’s services, told the Manchester Evening News: “We encourage schools to work with local faith groups to develop guidance and co-ordinate the times taken for religious observance.

“It is about asking schools to plan ahead and to try not to put themselves in the position where they could be asked to allow additional absence.”

Some schools in London where the majority of pupils are Hindu or Sikh already close on significant days in the calendars of those faiths, while Bradford and Tower Hamlets recommends that its schools close on the Islamic feasts of Eid al-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha, and hold teacher training days instead.

The local authority states: “Tower Hamlets policy is that schools should close for Eid (these dates have been advised by the East London Mosque).

“It is important to ensure that all Muslim pupils and staff can participate in religious observance without being absent from school. This is consistent with the council’s attendance policy that “every day matters”.

“In 2005/6 the overall attendance figures for Tower Hamlets were adversely affected by 0.5 per cent by schools that remained open for Eid.”


A child is seen among Muslims attending prayers during Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan

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Joe98
04-22-2009, 12:20 AM
Thats OK.

The annual summer school holidays can be reduced by 5 days ( or one week) so the students don't miss out on education.

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The Ruler
04-22-2009, 12:24 AM
Originally Posted by Joe98
Thats OK.

The annual summer school holidays can be reduced by 5 days ( or one week) so the students don't miss out on education.

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Or they could just not spend the week before they break up for Christmas watching movies. So the students don't miss out on education.

Don't the schools close anyway? The ones that have a high muslim percentage?
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Joe98
04-22-2009, 02:16 AM
Originally Posted by The Ruler
Don't the schools close anyway? The ones that have a high muslim percentage?
Yes, and so all the children miss out on an education. They need to catch up somehow.

The teachers and children should all spend one extra week in school to catch up.

Doesn't matter whether its a week in August or a week in December so long as it's a week.

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Yanal
04-22-2009, 02:20 AM
That is good news for England unfortunately I'm in Canada:( wish there would be a holiday like this.
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Pygoscelis
04-22-2009, 03:13 AM
Can I have a holiday too for my religion?
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Yanal
04-22-2009, 03:31 AM
What's your holiday?
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Joe98
04-22-2009, 04:38 AM
Originally Posted by Yanal
What's your holiday?
Wednesdays are good form me !:D

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Uthman
04-22-2009, 05:02 AM
Greetings Pygoscelis,
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
Can I have a holiday too for my religion?
You disagree with this move?
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Uthman
04-22-2009, 05:15 AM
Douglas Murray, the person from the article who opposed this move, is the author of a book called Neoconservatism: Why we need it. I have seen his "think-tank" known as the Centre for Social Cohesion which was launched by Civitas being described as a right-wing think-tank in the media .The group seems to show a peculiar focus on Muslims and Islam and some have accused the centre of "doing the opposite to what it says on the tin" in that it doesn't appear to be doing much in the way of cohesion. Douglas Murray has also never failed to make his personal negative views on Islam very clear. If you youtube him, you'll know what I mean.
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aamirsaab
04-22-2009, 10:46 AM
:sl:
In my old college, on eid days the place was empty. It was not a muslim-only college but its population was 90% muslim.

They never closed the college on those days in either two years I was there.
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noorseeker
04-22-2009, 10:53 AM
no one turns up anyway, and their not exactly gona discipline 1000 kids are they.
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Whatsthepoint
04-22-2009, 12:30 PM
I like it.
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crayon
04-22-2009, 12:38 PM
Douglas Murray, director of the Centre for Social Cohesion think tank, said: “Either people are British and go to British schools and have a particular holiday system, or we decide to carve the country up into areas that are Muslim and non-Muslim, and I think that’s what this does.
What a stupid statement.
What of those who are British and Muslim?
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burdenofbeing
04-22-2009, 01:36 PM
he probably means, it's either united under british tag, or divided under religion tag.
As long as schools themselves make the decision, and it isn't forced I see no problem with this.
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MO783
04-22-2009, 01:41 PM
I think they should be closed
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Whatsthepoint
04-22-2009, 01:42 PM
Originally Posted by crayon
What a stupid statement.
What of those who are British and Muslim?
I don't really think you can be both..
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burdenofbeing
04-22-2009, 01:48 PM
^why is that?
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aadil77
04-22-2009, 02:06 PM
Originally Posted by Whatsthepoint
I don't really think you can be both..
Yeh you're right but we'd rather be muslims. I still don't know what the definition of being british is, do you?

And I don't see what the problem is with absences, its only two days a year
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Yanal
04-22-2009, 02:09 PM
Yes whatsthepoint I'm British and muslim I'm from British Columbia.
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glo
04-22-2009, 02:14 PM
Schools already have a number of 'inset days', which they can use as and when they see fit.
Often they are tagged onto existing bank holidays, but there should be no reason why thay cannot be used for Eid. As lang as the school's governing body is in agreement.
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Uthman
04-22-2009, 05:18 PM
Originally Posted by Whatsthepoint
I don't really think you can be both..
I agree with you and I believe you already know my views on this. :)
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Keltoi
04-22-2009, 06:13 PM
As long as the time off is made up for I don't really see an issue...although I don't see how schools can take vacations for every religious holiday on the planet. There has to be some form of picking and choosing. Perhaps it should be based on the Muslim population of the school. If the population is above say 25% then there will be the Muslim holiday vacation, or something along those lines.
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Whatsthepoint
04-22-2009, 06:14 PM
Originally Posted by Osman
I agree with you and I believe you already know my views on this. :)
Yes I do, crayon apparently doesn't.
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Muezzin
04-23-2009, 03:12 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
Can I have a holiday too for my religion?
If you were a (non-Orthodox) Christian, you'd already have two.

Really, Pygo, I thought you'd be above this sort of Internet pettiness and 'epic failure'.

Originally Posted by Joe98
Thats OK.

The annual summer school holidays can be reduced by 5 days ( or one week) so the students don't miss out on education.

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Elephant in the room = schools with a vast majority of Muslim students, as in the first post, are going to be curiously empty on Eid days regardless of whether that particular school officially recognises those days as holidays or not.

Did you read the entire article or just the headline?
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Erundur
04-23-2009, 03:45 PM
that good to hear, in my state anyways you still have to call in absent.
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OmarAlexander
04-23-2009, 03:58 PM
I know where I went to public school (america, near washington dc) We had every jewish holiday off as well as easter and christmas. Now in college we still get all the jewish holidays off as well as christmas, but not easter.

But Ive never heard of a school letting off for aid or anything like that. I dont see why that cant be incorporated into the schedule. Seems like a good idea, I wish they would do something like that here.
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ardianto
04-23-2009, 04:22 PM
Except National Day, Indonesian schools always closed 12 times in every year. Six on Islamic holidays, three on Christian holidays, one on Hindu holiday, one on Buddhist holiday and one on Chinese Confusian holiday(Chinese New Year).

So, why dont British govt follow Indonesian govt ?
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burdenofbeing
04-23-2009, 04:58 PM
well here in turkey we have only the islamic holidays and secular holidays. the christian and jewish schools have complete authority on their program, and they close their schools on their respective holidays. I like it. Though I would also like it if muslims had the right to fund their own schools like the minorities.
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Dawud_uk
04-24-2009, 06:21 AM
Originally Posted by burdenofbeing
well here in turkey we have only the islamic holidays and secular holidays. the christian and jewish schools have complete authority on their program, and they close their schools on their respective holidays. I like it. Though I would also like it if muslims had the right to fund their own schools like the minorities.
the army and secular elite are never going to allow muslims complete control as they perhaps quite rightly see it as a step towards true islam which they dont want.
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