THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Conducting ‘special classes’ in schools during the two-month summer vacation has been forbidden by the Directorate of Public Instruction (DPI) in a circular. There is an exemption for conducting summer camps, provided there is permission from the authorities concerned.
The other day, taking a strong stand against the practice of organising classes during the vacations, the DPI directed government, aided and unaided schools to not conduct ‘any sort of classes’ during the time. The circular is also applicable to schools following the CBSE and CISCE syllabuses.
“Strict instruction has been given to headmasters and school managers to comply with the circular.“They were asked to not conduct any sort of classes for lower primary, upper primary and high school students. Disciplinary action will be initiated against those who flout the said circular,” reads an excerpt from the circular.
The circular which stresses the need of summer vacation for the physical and mental wellbeing of school students further highlights the conduct of such classes in April and May, which is marked by scorching summer and drinking water scarcity, might take a toll on the health of children.
“If any child falls prey to heat-related problems during such special classes during vacation time, then the respective school management/ headmaster/teachers will be held accountable for such mishaps,” reads the circular.
Meanwhile, an exemption has been made in the conduct of summer camps for children by schools, after the DPI started to receive a number of requests for the same. While stipulating the duration of such camps as seven days, the circular makes it mandatory to ensure prior permission from the District Education Office/Sub-District Education Office before organising such camps.
“Before granting permission to conduct such camps, the respective officers will have to conduct a school visit and ensure that there is sufficient drinking water, food, fan and toilet facilities for children who were participating in the camp,” said the circular.
Earlier, the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) in an order last April had upheld the need of summer-vacation with the observation that, “Vacations are the space given to a child to develop those skills which are essential for leading a healthy and meaningful life and is also the opportunity not just for the children but for teachers also to recharge their batteries, revitalise themselves, interact with their families, indulge in leisure time activities and come back refreshed to face the challenges of a new academic year.”
While highlighting Chapter VII Rule I of Kerala Education Rules 1959 which is applicable to all educational institutions in the state irrespective of the syllabus being followed in which it has been stated that all schools shall be closed for the summer vacation every year, the Commission also cites the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which stresses the need to ensure that children are enjoying their leisure time and pursuing activities that will nurture their talents.The said circular from DPI is said to be a continuum of the order of the KSCPCR.