CHENNAI: Despite functioning throughout the rainy season, schools in non-rain-hit areas are most likely to forego Christmas and New Year holidays this winter.
As third term books reaches schools only after December 27 and with half-yearly exams remaining postponed, students of these areas are now forced to sit idle in their classrooms or revise the second term portions for the third time!
Parents are skeptical about half-yearly exams being scrapped this academic year as it was done during previous natural calamities like the Tsunami in 2004.
The School Education Department has sent a circular announcing that no school should conduct half-yearly exams during December.
A private school correspondent from Coimbatore said, “We have informed parents that classes will be conducted during December 23 and January 3 (half-yearly holiday) for Class I to IX and XI as having a break before half-yearly exams was not going to help either the students or teachers.”
“Schools have even completed revision of second term portions and now we are wasting time of the students by asking them to sit idle in classrooms or revise the same portions again”, he added.
According to Michael Raj, Information and Communication Secretary of TN Post Graduate Teachers Association, parents and teachers would have made their own plans like going on a family trip during this short ten-day break and by cancelling this, the students might feel burnt out by working for more than six to seven months without a break.
However, a private school teacher, M Thiruvengadam said, “Students do not need a break as half-yearly exams have been postponed and families cancelling their holiday trips is no big deal.”
“Since Board exam students (Class X and XII) by default have special classes during half-yearly holidays every year, the problem is for other students (Class I-IX and XI) under trimester pattern,” said a school education department official.
A government school teacher requesting anonymity said, “Officials have orally instructed teachers to use last year’s third term books and teach a few important topics for Class IX and IX students.”
However, a few schools are conducting weekly unit tests and monthly tests during this academically stagnant period to keep students engaged.
A School Education Department official suggested that rather than scrapping half-yearly exams for those not attending Board exams, exams could be conducted on portions covered and a decision could be left to the local authorities concerned.
School Education Secretary D Sabitha was not available for comments.