Makkah schools cancel classes due to hajj rush

Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba inside the Grand Mosque during the annual pilgrimage, known as the hajj. (File photo: AP)

Schools and colleges in the holy city of Makkah will suspend classes this week due to crowding of pilgrims in the city.

The city’s director of education, Mohammad Al-Harthy, said Education Minister Azzam Al-Dakheel ordered the suspension of classes in 253 boys and girls schools in Makkah.

“The decision came after many parents requested for schools to stop starting this week due to the crowding in the holy city. The Haj season has begun and pilgrims are frequenting the Grand Mosque, obstructing free movement of citizens on the city’s roads,” said Al-Harthy.

He also said the directorate will suspend classes in 126 boys schools and 127 girls schools in various parts of the city.

“The schools were chosen based on the density of pilgrims in their areas. The schools suspended include all levels — primary, middle and secondary,” said Al-Harthy.

Meanwhile, Umm Al-Qura University has announced that it will suspend classes for all of its colleges located within Makkah starting Sunday.

A source said the university took the decision to suspend classes to facilitate the movement of pilgrims and protect its students from unstable weather conditions.

“Classes will be resumed after the Haj break on Tuesday, Sept. 29. Umm Al-Qura branches in other governorates will be operating as usual unaffected by the decision.

Also, the staff and faculty members of the university are required to attend duty on their regular working days as usual. The university is only relieving the students studying in Makkah,” said the source.

This article was first published on the Saudi Gazette on September 13, 2015.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 13:56 - GMT 10:56