Shillong: How often have we heard of schools declaring holidays for students to watch football matches live on television? Well, if you are in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya in Northeast India, this could be a dream come true.

Earlier this week, principal Br Solomon Morris announced that St Edmund’s School in Shillong would remain closed for the semi-finals and final of the ongoing UEFA Euro 2020 football championship.

St Edmund’s School, Shillong is an all-boys’ institution of the Roman Catholic Church affiliated to the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations. The school is situated in the neighbourhood of Laitumkhrah in the state capital.

In a notification to parents, teacher and students of the school on July 5, Morris wrote: “I want to watch the semi-finals and the finals of the Euro Cup. And I am 100% sure, you are all looking forward to it. Let us enjoy the experience.”

The school will reopen only on July 13, Tuesday after the final match is played between England and Italy at 12.30 am on on July 12, Monday.

“So our online classes will resume on July 13. Enjoy and God bless All. I am rooting for Italy as my team bowed out in the quarter-finals! Stay safe and keep well,” the notification added.

The notification issued by St Edmund’s School to parents, teachers and students

Morris said that the idea came up after he saw students attending only online classes for over a year now due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Being a football fan himself, and so were his students, Morris decided to ensure that they all enjoyed the last few matches of the esteemed football championship.

Speaking with EastMojo, Morris said he didn’t want students to turn up for their online classes all sleepy since they would definitely be up all night watching the game.

“In the note that I sent to parents and students, I used one of Lionel Messi’s quotes and that was so apt for the decision I made. My instinct kept saying that this is what students love to watch, so why should I deprive them of this?” Morris said.

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“I wanted students to enjoy the time with their families by watching the game together and not having their parents asking their children to go to bed since the next day they have to sit for the online classes,” he added.

Meanwhile, the principal clarified that when he wrote that the school will “reopen”, he actually meant to say online classes will resume on July 13.



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