Chechen pupils may get extra holidays due to presidential election
Timur Aliyev, North Caucasus, August 29 - Schools in Chechnya may close before the Kremlin-organized Chechen presidential election on October 5, but whether it will be several days or weeks is as yet unclear.
“There will be no classes between September 5 and October 5," Natalya Estemirova of Russian human rights group Memorial told our PW correspondent in Grozny. According to Estemirova, this “additional holiday” was arranged in order to ensure the children’s personal safety. “Almost all school buildings in Chechnya will be used by district election commissions; so by staying away youngsters will be safe in the event of shootings or outbreaks of fires, as happened during the March referendum,” she explained.
Children and their parents confirm this. “We were told lessons would be held between September 1 and 5 when we’ll meet with our teachers to find out about our subjects; and then we’ll stay home for one month,” explained Movsar Uspanov, a schoolboy from the village of Serzhen-Yurt.
However, the Chechen Ministry of Education has denied this, with Minister Dadayev describing it as being provocative and that all schools in Chechnya will be open as usual. “Even though it’s quite likely schools will be closed for one or two days before the election."
It must be noted that polling stations in Chechnya are located mostly in schools.