Bengaluru schools cut summer vacation, parents fume
BENGALURU: IIT’s time for school students in the city to envy those in Tamil Nadu. The government in the neighbouring state recently banned schools from conducting special classes during summer vacation.
Several students in Bengaluru are, however, not so lucky. Many private schools are cutting down on vacation time, giving the youngsters only a little over a month of summer holidays, as opposed to two months.
Students of Class 10 and 12 are the ones most affected.
“My son has entered Class 12, and they have been given only 12 days of vacation. The school says if children get into a holiday mood, it will be difficult for them to concentrate on studies,” Deepti (name changed) said.
“In a year from now, if he moves elsewhere for studies, we will not get to see him much. Vacation is important for them to get rejuvenated before Board exams,” she added.
Parents also complain about exams being scheduled right after the school reopens.
“My son is getting only a little over a month of vacation from May to June. He got a 10-day break after the annual exams. We plan to travel in May, but he will have to carry books to prepare for exams in June,” said Suresh AB, whose son studies in Class 7.
Since not all schools follow this vacation pattern, the students also feel left out. “While everyone else is outside playing, they are forced to attend school. This time is important for them to pick up social skills,” said S Narendra, father of a Class 8 student.
As per UN’s child rights convention, children need time for leisure activities, according to Nagasimha Rao, director, Child Rights Trust, an NGO that partners with UNICEF.
“There is no regulation in Karnataka over vacation time. We observe that schools give vacation for just one month, starting the next academic year early.
This is an indirect way of scaring the child about board exams and getting good results,” he said, adding, “The education department must consult with educators, children, psychologists and other experts to frame rules on vacation time.”
The education department recommends April 10 to May 28 for the vacation, Shashi Kumar D, general secretary, Associated Management of Private Unaided English Medium Schools in Karnataka, said.
He added, “Some schools give 10-15 days off, which is not good for holistic development. Fifty days is ideal. Re-opening schools early may cause dehydration.”
The schools involved, however, say the step is for the students’ good. “For Class 10, parents, teachers and children need to pull their socks up,” said G Nagaraju, principal of Sri Chaitanya Techno School, which has given vacation to Class 10 students from April 13 to May 16.
“Eventually it is the Board exam results that we have to look at. One month is enough time to relax. Parents are also keen on special classes,” he added.