Rawalpindi - Most of the educational institutions, both governmental and private, remained open on Saturday despite the fact that the district government had declared December 13 a holiday in all the educational institutions of tehsil Rawalpindi on account of the Chehlum of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA).

Interestingly, the administration of a boys school brought the students in big number to a public gathering of a PML-N stalwart and federal minister at Dhamial in a bid to make the rally successful.

The management of Government Boys High School, Dhamial, did not follow the orders of the DCO and remained the school open. Later, all the students of the school were brought forcefully to a public gathering of Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in Dhamial to show public gathering.

A group of students talking to this scribe on request of anonymity revealed that they came to know about public holiday soon after entering the school and were contemplating to go back home when the gate of school was closed. Later, the principal and teachers ordered all the students to attend the public gathering of the federal minister near the school. “Please don’t publish our names in newspaper as our teachers will punish us for revealing the truth to media,” the students pleaded.

The school principal was not available for his comments when this scribe visited the school.

Meanwhile, a large number of students of government educational institutions faced a lot of trouble when they were informed about the holiday after reaching their educational institutions. Examinations in many schools and colleges were also cancelled due to the holiday. The students protested the decision of the city district government, saying they should have been informed a day earlier about the holiday.

A notification issued on Friday by District Coordination Officer Sajid Zafar Dall said that the 20th of Safar, 1436, corresponding to December 13, 2014, will be a public holiday for all universities, schools and colleges, both governmental and private. However, the educational institutions in all the other tehsils of Rawalpindi will remain open, the notification said. However, the administrations of many educational institutions defied the clear orders of DCO by opening schools and colleges.

A survey conducted by The Nation revealed that the schools and colleges remained open in the areas of Dhamial, Hayyal, Chakri Road, Quaid-e-Azam Colony, Liaquat Colony, Ahmedabad, Dhoke Syedan, Baraf Khana Chowk, Girja Road, Peshawar Road, Chakra, Pirwadhai, Fauji Colony, Badar Colony, Saddar, Dhoke Kashmirian, Commercial Market, 6th Road, Murree Road, Shakrial, Sadiqabad, Muslim Town, Bandh Khana Road, Airport, Shah Khalid Colony, Jhanda Cheechi, Scheme III, Gulraiz, Morgah, Lalazar, Khuwaja Corporation, Dhoke Juma, Sherzaman Colony, Baqir Colony, Dheri Hassanabad, Lal Kurti, Tahli Mohri, Adyala Road, Chungi Number 20, Ali Town, Dhama Syedan, Dhoke Kalhoor, Mumtaz Colony, Dhoke Lal Shah, Munawar Colony, Hill View, Jarahi, Kehkashan Colony, Rah-e-Aman, Rah-e-Sakoon, Shah Pur, Jorian, Kalyal, Dehgal, Gorakhpur, Adyala, Chontra, Kasla, and many other areas.

Aiza Sattar, a first year student of a government college, said that she did not know about public holiday and was sent back to home by college administration. She said that her paper was also cancelled. “I came from Chakri Road and now am going back to home without attending classes. This is ridicules. The government should have informed students a day earlier before its decision of public holiday,” she said.

Many other students expressed same views while talking to this scribe.

The cellphone of the DCO was also not responding when a call was made to know his version on the issue of violation of district government’s orders by school/college managements.