Therefore in Canada there is no need to officialize religious holidays in the same way – as long as tests are not planned on these days.
The same laws protect teachers in Canada who want to observe religious practices. This came about in 1994 after three Jewish teachers were compensated for missing days a decade earlier.
Most highly populated Muslims schools in Toronto are happy to excuse their students observing a holy day if there is a parental planned request. After all, in these schools it is highly unlikely to run a school as normal when most children are going to be absent.
However, the understanding does vary among schools with some schools empathise whilst others schools say they already have long holidays so why need more – the situation is a bit hit and miss.
Canada does not have a perfect system and it is hit and miss. It should officialize the holidays so parents and children do not feel guilty about choosing between a holy day and school and the American trend should be followed.
Such views are supported in New York. It would therefore make sense to follow the New City example as Mayor Bill de Blasio said when he announced this week, Muslims students, “Will no longer have to choose between honouring the most sacred days on their calendar and attending school.”
About the Authors: Samantha Drake is an online tutor in Canada and specialises in online English tutoring and Rizwana Patel is an online math tutor in Canada and North America. In addition to tutoring both are senior tutors and have an interest in educational journalism in Canada.