Days after banning Onam celebrations during office hours for government employees at their offices, the Pinarayi Vijayan government on 1 September spelt out rules for Onam celebrations in schools. But a day after the circular was sent out, the government withdrew it.
The circular that was likely to ruffle feathers and upset students in the state, was by the Joint Director of academics at the Higher Secondary Education department and said that students have to mandatorily wear uniforms during Onam celebrations.
Onam, Kerala's harvest festival, is celebrated across communities for ten days, drenching the state in vibrant colours. Onam celebrations are huge events across educational institutions in the state.
The circular dated 1 September said that the celebrations should adhere to the discipline in schools.
"We have been receiving reports that in certain educational institutions such celebrations have been hampering the healthy atmosphere", said the circular.
The circular says that under these circumstances, schools are advised to follow the guidelines issued by the higher secondary director.
The guidelines are as follows:
1) The Onam celebration should be conducted in such a way that it does not affect the conduct of examinations or any other academic activities.
2) In such programmes, school uniform is mandatory. Students participating in cultural activities and have to wear special clothes for it, should take prior permission from the Principal.
3) There should be no excessive fund collection for organizing such events. Avoid extravaganza and the celebration must be minimalistic in nature.
4) Do not keep aside an entire day for celebrations.
5) Ensure the presence of PTA members during such events.
6) Principal should ensure that the teachers are in complete control of sports and arts events during the celebration.
The Pinarayi government had received a lot of flak for telling government employees not to celebrate Onam during work hours, while on the other hand the CM endorsed the Bharat bandh and asked everyone to cooperate.