This year, school students in Kerala will enjoy a complete summer break as the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has directed the Principal Secretary for General Education to issue an order banning vacation classes by all schools including the higher secondary, vocational higher secondary schools, and those affiliated to the ICSE and the CBSE.
The order comes on the basis of complaints received by the commission and media reports. The commission got to know that drinking water wasn’t being made available despite the directive by the commission on February 25th.
According to the sources, the Child Rights Commission had made it clear to the Secretary on various guidelines to be followed while conducting vacation classes. And these included availability of drinking water and toilet facilities. According to Dr. Leju P Thomas, teacher at St. Mary’s Higher Secondary School, Trivandrum, “This is a welcome change because summer classes at times are a strain on children.”
As per the directive, the Education Secretary should also issue an order after taking into account provisions of the the Kerala Education Rules and the provisions of the UN convention on Child Rights.
The Commission also observed that holding vacation classes in the name of improving academic performance while the temperature is soaring, was putting mental and physical pressure on children. It is also the violation of child rights as children had the right to enjoy uninterrupted summer holidays. The Commission had also received complaints from parents on this regard.
Jeeja D, a parent feels, “As long as the extra classes or vacation classes include extra curricular activities like yoga, aerobics or swimming or other life skills, they should be continued. However, it is a good idea to stop classes related to academics. Extra curricular activities help kids unwind and mingle with other kids of their age. And they don’t get to do much of that as more families have a nuclear structure. Children do need two months of holidays to indulge in playing and be with other kids from the same age group.”
Cover image courtesy: Thunderboltz at the English language Wikipedia, CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons