Thursday December 07, 2023

Backlash as FDE curtails duration of summer vacation

By Our Correspondent
June 08, 2023

Islamabad:The Federal Directorate of Education is under severe criticism for slashing the summer vacation for students of government schools and colleges in Islamabad. The summer break usually lasts for two and a half months but this time around, it will take place from June 10 to July 31.

In contrast, Punjab authorities have adopted a more thoughtful approach by announcing an extended summer break from June 6 to August 20, taking into account the scorching heat and humidity experienced during the month of August. A teacher of the Islamabad Model College for Girls I-8/4 said on condition of anonymity that a few years ago, summer holidays for students were scheduled for a generous two and a half months, allowing students to fully recharge and engage in recreational activities.According to the summer break schedule , the schools will reopen on August 1. The month of August is known for its high temperatures and humidity but the FDE authorities, while making the schedule, did not consider the scorching weather conditions during the month of August. The FDE has curtailed the summer vacation without taking the stakeholders into confidence.

The curtailment of the summer vacation schedule has raised the concerns among students and parents.” Expressing concern at the FDE’s arbitrariness in curtailing the summer vacation, a teacher at Islamabad College for Boys G-6/3 said the FDE's move was meant to showcase efficiency and garnering cheap publicity which had raised concerns about the well-being and academic performance of students during extreme weather conditions.

"Traditionally, summer vacations have, allowing students and teachers to recuperate from a demanding academic year and recharge for the upcoming session. The prolonged break not only provided an opportunity for rest but also allowed students and teachers to visit their hometowns and explore hilly areas, rejuvenating their spirits after completion of a rigorous academic session,” she said.

Parents voiced concerns regarding the adverse effects of extreme weather conditions on students' health and learning and said they were worried about the potential impact on their children's well-being and academic performance. Muhammad Arshad, a father whose two children are studying at Islamabad Model College for Boys F-10/3 said August had high temperatures and humidity levels, which often led to dehydration and discomfort, so students were vulnerable to health issues.

"Recognizing the detrimental effects of the scorching heat and humidity in August, Punjab authorities have prioritized the well-being and safety of students by closing schools for summer vacation for a reasonable time. The FDE should follow in their footsteps allowing schoolchildren to spend quality time with family and friends and thus, boosting their overall well-being," he said.