Hindu pupils, teachers to get Diwali long weekend

2013-10-31 00:00

HINDU pupils and teachers have been allowed to take a long weekend after Diwali.

Muzi Mahlambi from the Education Department confirmed that schools that applied to treat next Monday as a religious day will have the day off.

There was a bit of confusion on whether schools would be allowed to close or not, but this has been cleared up with a circular that was released to all KwaZulu-Natal schools.

Schools may apply for two religious days a year.

Diwali falls into that category. Monday is being treated as a religious day since Diwali is celebrated over a few days, with the main day on Sunday.

Ram Maharaj, a president of the South African Hindu Dharma Sabha and an ANC member of the education portfolio committee in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, said he was glad that the department has allowed this to occur.

“I wish all Hindus a happy Diwali. This closure of religiously integrated schools will promote awareness and appreciation among our children, their parents and teachers about Diwali, and enhance inter-faith understanding and harmony, social cohesion and nation-building,” said Maharaj.

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