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Saudi Arabia bans schools from declaring non-Islamic holidays

Saudi children wave their national flag during celebrations marking the 86th Saudi Arabian National Day in the desert kingdom's capital Riyadh, on September 23, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / FAYEZ NURELDINE

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has warned international schools from marking non-Islamic occasions such as Christmas and New Year as holidays.

The ban includes forbidding the schools from providing holidays on such occasions or changing the dates of exams to suit them, Xinhua news agency reported.

The education ministry directed all schools to stick to the academic calendars for exams and holidays. It warned of action against schools that violate the directive.

Saudi Arabia is a Sunni-conservative state that follows Islamic rules in all walks of life.

PTI