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Confusion over summer vacation prevails

May 16, 2012

KARACHI, May 16: Thousands of schoolchildren and their parents who have been waiting for the start of the two-month summer vacation on June 1 are disturbed by the uncertainty created by the Sindh education department on the issue of summer vacation’s starting month, it emerged on Wednesday.

Parents and schoolteachers as well as some of the school management representatives interviewed by Dawn said that the education department which, they said, “believes in planning something and doing something else” once again resorted to a torturous exercise of changing the summer vacation’s starting date.

“We have been teaching our students as per a course plan prepared keeping in view the routine summer vacation starting from June 1 and ending on July 31,” said a couple of school management personnel.

While only two weeks of May are left, a majority of schools have also started conducting pre-vacation examinations as well, said the schools management people, adding that a majority of the schools wants the vacation to start from June 1 and not from July 1.

According to the minutes of the Sindh education department’s steering committee which met in the second week of February this year, the chairmen of educational boards, education department’s officers and the representatives from private schools and other institutions in principle decided to start summer vacation from June 1 for two months.

However, in view of the absence of some representatives of the so-called “big schools in the private sector”, they had agreed that the education department might hold a separate meeting with the schools in question later and if they were convinced to delay the commencement of the summer vacation for one month, a summary would be moved for the chief minister to get his approval on a major shift from the routine.

Last year too the education department had tried to shift the vacation to July-August instead of June-July on the grounds of the commencement of Ramzan in hot summer days, a parent recalled and added that this year as per a climate change expert, August would going to be a calm and pleasant month and as such the education department’s summary for not holding classes in August had become questionable.

The month of May has so far been hotter and June too is likely to remain unbearable for schoolchildren from summer point of view across the province, said anther parent and added that the education department should be realistic and not confuse things.

Syed Khalid Shah, chief of the All Pakistan Private School Management Association said that there had been a lot of concerns and confusion among students and parents on the subject.

“We have been told that the education secretary has sent a summary to the chief minister in regard to the summer vacation about a week ago and is waiting for a green signal,” he said.

“It is ridiculous that the education department instead of reporting the results of its meeting with the so-called private schools to the steering committee resorted to forward a summary to the CM.”

The education secretary of Sindh could not be reached despite repeated attempts on Wednesday night when some of the media channels were highlighting the issue and releasing unconfirmed announcements regarding summer holidays.

However, when contacted by Dawn a spokesman for the Chief Minister said that he had been told that the much publicised summary reached to the Chief Minister House just on Wednesday.

Any decision would be taken by the chief minister in a day or two, he added.