The Department of School Education and Literacy’s Directorate of Primary Education issued a directive on August 1 to remove the word “Urdu” from institutions that have not been designated as Urdu Schools. The agency also mandated that the weekly vacation be observed on Sunday rather than Friday as several schools have begun to do.

The department got information that some schools had inserted the word “Urdu” and had started observing weekly off days on Friday rather than Sunday, according to the order, which DOSE&L Secretary Rajesh Kumar Sharma signed. Additionally, it was mentioned that certain schools adjusted their pre-prayer procedures and midday food schedules.

The letter read, “Keeping in view the seriousness of the subject matter, the following guidelines are given after due consideration:

  1. Except for the notified Urdu school, in which the word Urdu has been added, the Urdu word should be removed from the part of that school without delay
  2. Weekly holidays on Sundays should be ensured except for notified Urdu Schools, and the mid-day meal should be operated on Sundays
  3. Under no circumstances should any academic activity be conducted on Sundays in non-notified Urdu schools.

It should also be ensured that prayer is conducted in non-notified Urdu schools as per the earlier method.”

The order further noted that it would hinder government work and upset social harmony, which would result in the proper legal action, if any local citizen, school administration, or others caused any form of obstruction in implementing the orders.

The Jharkhand Education Department reportedly launched an investigation into a school in the Lohardaga district on July 20 about the issue of the name change from elementary school to Urdu high school. After Jharkhand BJP MP Sudarshan Bhagat called for an investigation into the case, the probe was launched.

Residents and parents have expressed concerns about the word “Urdu,” particularly in relation to Charhu Urdu High School, according to the MP. “They claim it was a regular school, but it changed into an Urdu high school so rapidly. We told the department that the issue needed to be investigated,” he was cited as saying.

According to reports, similar events have occurred in numerous schools in Jharkhand were names, weekly off days, and other regular activities have been changed to accommodate Muslim students’ “requirements” in Muslim-dominated districts.

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