Schools on Monday received a circular from the education department cancelling the holiday for Shiv Jayanti on February 19 and instead asking them to celebrate it in school. However, the sudden change in plan has irked the school principals as they hardly got time to prepare for the celebrations.
Each year, schools are shut on the occasion and the holiday also features on the department's calendar. The circular, issued by the department on February 14, reached the schools only on Monday.
"We had even made the announcement regarding the holiday. Today, we had to announce the change," said Rajesh Pandya, teacher, Fatima Devi English High School, Malad. "We have had several leaders like Savarkar et al; so, why force schools to celebrate just Shivaji's birth anniversary?"
The circular reads: "The school must not take a holiday on February 19 and instead celebrate the day by organising various competitions and activities to create awareness about Shivaji among the students."
The schools, however, are in a fix since they do not have enough time to prepare. "All we can do in a day's time is to read out a speech or sing some songs. There is no way we can do justice to the celebrations," said Anjana Prakash, principal, Hansraj Morarji public school, Andheri.
The circular has asked the schools to send a report of the celebrations.
A few schools in the city seem to have missed the circular and continue to have a holiday. "We have not been informed about the change in plan. May be the school has not received the circular," said a parent of a student studying in a south Mumbai school.