A recent circular from the Director of Matriculation Schools in Tamil Nadu prohibiting schools across the state from conducting special classes in summer is being welcomed by stakeholders.
On Tuesday, a circular issued by the Director stated that it is mandatory to provide holidays for students during the summer since there is possibility of them contracting diseases which spread in the heat. “Summer vacation is a good opportunity for the students to go to their native places, mingle with their extended family, know the importance of family, and improve their relationships,” stated the circular. The circular further said that action will be taken on schools if parents file a complaint regarding violation of the rule.
This circular has been widely appreciated by several parents in Tamil Nadu. Speaking to TNM, KR Nandhakumar, State Secretary, Tamil Nadu Matriculation, Higher Secondary, and CBSE Schools Association says, “Books have not yet come for the higher class students so it makes no sense to conduct classes. Also, it is already scorching hot across the state. Hence I think it is good that such an order has been issued. It will help students take care of their health better and to be with their families.”
S Arumainathan, President of the Tamil Nadu Students-Parents Welfare Association, says, “It will curb unnecessary classes that schools organise these days with the main motive of getting money. Vacations and holidays are intended to help students do social activities and get a sense of life.”
However, he adds that despite the state government bringing in such moves, they are rarely implemented in reality. “We have seen so many such orders and rules. I can say with confidence that most of them lack proper supervision on the ground. I would prefer that such orders are strictly followed up on by the authorities,” he says.
School teachers and managements however say they are awaiting more clarity on the circular. A correspondent in a leading private school in Pollachi says that basically it is a great decision to give rest to the children. “But we need more information on what classes the circular is talking about. If it is about the summer camps that we conduct for various extracurricular activities, then it is already optional. It provides a safe environment to children whose both parents are working professionals and cannot leave their kids home alone and hence for such parents, these classes are useful. However, if it is for the classes we conduct for class 9 and 11 students, then I think it is impractical,” she says.
Explaining her take on the circular, she says that it is impossible for any school in Tamil Nadu to complete the portions for class 9 and 11 students within the fixed parameters of school hours. “We already have a lot of restrictions, like no classes on Sundays, no classes beyond actual working hours, no classes on public and government holidays etc. Over and above this, if more restrictions are placed, it becomes challenging for the teachers to complete teaching the portions for these students,” she says. However, she adds that it is good to give the students a mandatory holiday for two weeks for them to relax and rejuvenate themselves.