Saudi Arabia: Ministry bans music and dancing in schools



Saudi Arabia:
Ministry bans music and dancing in schools

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education issued on 9 June 2010 a circular to all schools in the kingdom ordering that no music or dancing be allowed during upcoming graduation celebrations, reported Muhammad Al-Sulami of Arab News on 10 June 2010.

Graduation celebrations, the circular added, are to take place in the morning within the last three weeks of the academic year.

“The celebrations should not disrupt the school day, lead to the cancellations of classes or cause students and teachers to absent themselves the next day,” the ministry said, adding that no cameras should be allowed in schools.

Education Minister Prince Faisal bin Abdullah has received reports from concerned parents fearing there might be excessive celebratory activities that may last well into the night, especially in public schools for girls. The ministry cited a recent incident where a private school for girls in Yanbu brought in a folkloric troupe that specializes in singing and dancing at wedding parties that continued all night in honor of graduating sixth grade schoolgirls.

Saleh Al-Sayed, the parent of a girl attending school in Yanbu, said such parties are unacceptable. “In the past, public schools used to make special programs marking the end of the year during which gifts were handed out to students. Now these activities have become dancing and singing celebrations that continue until next morning,” he said.

Fahhad Al-Otaibi, another father, said his daughter asked him for a lot of money to buy special clothes for the graduation ceremony and to share in the costs of the celebrations.

“These graduation parties, especially in girl schools, must stop,” he demanded.

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