04 Mar 2018 – 15:03
By Anisha Bijukumar | The Peninsula
Doha: A recent directive by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education on the spring break and summer vacation has left Indian parents and school authorities in confusion.
Indian schools that had announced their summer break for July-August 2018 in January were bewildered when they received the directive stating that the schools should reopen on August 29 unlike their previously announced date of September first week.
As per the new directive, the academic calendar for private schools will start on August 29, 2018. The spring break will be from April 7-11. And since April 11 is a Thursday, the school will start on April 14. But a ministry official had said at the press conference to announce the new academic calendar that “schools of different communities are operated under the supervision of their embassies, which decide on their own academic calendar”. Whether this will cover the Indian schools or not is not clear at the moment.
This announcement also left the Indian residents who have already booked their tickets to India based on the holidays announced by schools in the doldrums.
“Since the airfares during July-August are exorbitant, we book our tickets as soon as the schools announce their vacations. But ever since this news about directive has appeared, we are worried because I do not want my child to miss school since he will be in Class VIII but changing tickets would mean shelling out an additional few thousand towards the airfare,” said Suhana Shamseer, a resident, and parent of two boys. There are many like Suhana awaiting confirmation from school and hoping that there are no changes in the vacation breaks.
Most Indian Schools have a two-week long spring break starting from March 14 to April 4, followed by a two-month summer break starting from July 6 to September 6.
According to a senior official at one of the leading Indian Schools, school authorities accompanied by the Embassy officials have approached the ministry to address their concerns. “Our academic calendar was planned much in advance and it is difficult for us to give a spring break again in April after giving our children a break in March,” the school official told The Peninsula.
He added that the ministry official has assured that they will forward the matter to the concerned people and the final decision will be taken in the next few days.
Meanwhile, Rajagiri Public School has already notified parents announcing a change in their vacation based on the MOE directive. It announced that its summer vacation will be from June 15 – August 28 with winter break being from December 21 to January 05, 2019.
Indian Embassy officials, when contacted, said that they are awaiting confirmation from the Ministry regarding the school calendars.