Concern over events during school vacation

A set of guidelines issued to schools across the State to conduct a series of events and competitions to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi have raised questions about the quarterly vacation scheduled at the same time.

From September 23 to October 2, the Ministry of Human Resource Development(MHRD) has issued guidelines which specify activities and events schools are expected to host. These include universal religion prayers, competitions for singing, dancing, drama and mono-acting which highlight Gandhian principles and values, awareness programmes for health and sanitation in the community, slogan and poetry writing, oratorical competitions and drawing contests.

Circular issued

The Samagra Shiksha in Tamil Nadu as well as some Chief Education Officials have issued circulars based on the MHRD for the conduct of these programmes across schools from September 23 to October 2.

“After a long-term, the students will be eager for a break. It is not fair to ask them to come to school then and their next vacation is only in December,” said P,K. Ilamaran, president of the Tamil Nadu Teachers Association. Quarterly exams have been going on in several schools from September 12 and the circulars raised questions as to whether students will be expected to continue coming to schools after the exams.

However, a senior official from the School Education Department clarified that they do not intend these programmes to affect the vacation of these schools in any way.

“We have not specified in any circulars that the vacations will be cancelled. Information has been conveyed to schools that this is voluntary and these events will be open to students who wish to participate out of their own interest,” he added.

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