MDP's allegation: school hours cut over lack of prep

MDP top-brass, including former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (C) and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid; the main opposition party criticized the current government for lack of preparation ahead of the new academic year -- Sun Photo/ Moosa Nadheem

The main opposition, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has alleged the school hours were shortened to conceal incompetency of the Ministry of Education.

According to the opposition party, the government was attempting to conceal lack of preparation by the ministry ahead of the new academic year.

The Education Ministry earlier announced that school hours will be shortened to three hours for the first three days of the new academic year owing to ongoing bad weather conditions nationwide.

In a statement, MDP said several parents have been complaining over the lack of textbooks provided to students before the new academic year commenced on Sunday. The party further claimed that some principals and teachers have complained about the lack of educators across the schools.

The opposition party further said that if an employee were to highlight such issues on social media platforms, they are mistreated.

"We condemn the ministry's lack of preparations ahead of the new academic year, and their decision to shorten the school hours as a cover-up for the incompetency," MDP said in its statement.

MDP said that the lack of planning and abrupt changes to the academic calender was already disrupting the education of students, causing them loss of valuable time with other damages.

It added that the loss of academic hours for the students during the first week of the new academic year will present further damages to students.

"We wish that students and teachers do not receive brunt of these abrupt and unplanned changes," MDP said.

The party further urged Education Ministry to make sound decisions to ensure seamless proceedings of the new academic year.

Over 96,000 students, which includes 40,300 girls and 42,700 boys, will be attending to schools all over Maldives in the new academic year.

A total of 162 schools will be operating under a single-academic session and 55 schools will operate under double-academic shifts.