Covid-19: With course curriculum in mind, schools shorten summer breaks

While some schools have already declared vacations for students of junior classes, others will be breaking for the summer in the coming weeks.
Schools said that they have reduced the duration of the break by a few days to make up for the loss of physical classes, where learning happens at a faster pace.(Yogendra Kumar/HT file photo. Representative image)
Schools said that they have reduced the duration of the break by a few days to make up for the loss of physical classes, where learning happens at a faster pace.(Yogendra Kumar/HT file photo. Representative image)
Updated on May 14, 2020 11:02 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Gurugram | BySadia Akhtar

Private schools in the city are opting for shorter summer breaks this year, after more than a month of holding online classes for students amid the nationwide lockdown imposed in March to curb the spread of coronavirus.

While some schools have already declared vacations for students of junior classes, others will be breaking for the summer in the coming weeks. Schools said that they have reduced the duration of the break by a few days to make up for the loss of physical classes, where learning happens at a faster pace.

Amity International School, Sector 43, has announced a month-long vacation starting May 15. The students in primary classes have already been on a break since the last week, and the remaining classes will take a break from Saturday. Compared to its usual summer break schedule, the duration has been reduced by a week this time.

Anshu Arora, school principal, said that the break had been reduced by about 10 days since children were anyway holed up inside their homes due to the lockdown. “Children are not going out of their homes. They don’t have many options for indulging in various activities outside. After months of online teaching, however, a break was needed. This will at least keep them in the system of having a break. Moreover, the break will give students a chance to revise whatever has been covered so far,” said Arora.

She added that the break would also give teachers a window to prepare for the future. “Without any preparation, teachers got into online classes overnight. This break was much-needed for them and will help everyone get back to classes with a renewed energy,’ said Arora.

Students have been given creative hands-on activities as part of the holiday homework to keep them occupied. “Keeping the time in mind and knowing that students will not be able to move outside, we have designed activities that can be done at home,” she said.

DAV Public School in Sector 14 has reduced its summer break by two weeks this year, as the school will be going for a three-week break from May 24 till June 14. School principal Aparna Erry said that the break had been reduced to offset the relatively slower pace of online classes. “Earlier, we used to have classes from 7.30am to 2pm. Due to the lockdown, we have online classes from 9am till 1pm. We need to compensate for the time, since the speed of covering the syllabus is slower,” said Erry.

She said that the school was not in favour of holding online classes for longer due to the eye strain it could cause and with much left to be covered, a shorter vacation schedule was decided upon. “For students in board classes, there is a significant amount of work that needs to be done. We are trying to ensure that the syllabus is covered without putting too much pressure on students,” said Erry.

Amity International School, Sector 46, declared summer vacations for the junior school last week, while senior wing students will be going on a break from Saturday. “Children needed a break. Too much screen time is not healthy for their eyes,” said Arti Chopra, school principal.

Among schools that released summer vacation schedules were Lotus Valley International and Kunskapsskolan, which will be closing from the last week of May. The former will be shut from May 30 to July 5, while the latter will shut from May 24 and May 29, for junior and senior classes, respectively.

Shiv Nadar School, which closed this week, will be shut till June 15.

Administrations of other private schools, meanwhile, are holding deliberations on the dates for the vacation. Officials of Manav Rachna International, Sector 46, said that they are waiting to see if the government issues a directive in this regard, before announcing their schedule.

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Wednesday, December 01, 2021