SAUDI ARABIA – International schools banned from observing non-Islamic holidays
Saudi Arabia has banned international schools from observing non-Islamic occasions such as Christmas and New Year. The ban forbids the schools from providing holidays on such occasions or changing the dates of exams because of them.
The education ministry directed all schools to abide by the state-mandated Sunni academic calendars for exams and holidays, which also excludes main Shiite holidays.. The ministry warned of legal action against schools that violate the directive, which could lead to termination of their license.
Schools have been ordered academic calendar for exams and holidays
The Saudi government also refuses to allow Shiite teachers and students exemptions from schools or exams on Ashura, the most important religious day for Shiite Muslims. There have been protests over this ban in previous years. Shiites account for approximately 15 percent of the population in the kingdom.”
Saudi Arabia is a conservative Sunni state that follows Islamic rules for all aspects of life.