Vacation School Ban for April Holidays: Ministry Prioritizes Rest, Independent Learning

March 26, 2024
school pupils 01 1200x800 | Report Focus News
Rest ... The government maintains that school holidays should not be cut short as children are made to return to school for extra lessons

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has officially announced a ban on the conduct of vacation schools during the April school holidays, affecting students in Grade 7, O’ Level, and A’ Level examination classes, as well as non-examination classes. This decision, articulated by the Ministry’s Secretary Moses Mhike, emphasizes the importance of the holiday break for rest and independent learning among learners.

According to Mhike, the directive follows a comprehensive consultation process and an acknowledgment of the uninterrupted and effective teaching and learning that transpired during the first term, which fully utilized the 56 days dedicated to the educational process. “Authority is not granted for schools to facilitate a vacation school during the April school holidays,” Mhike stated, underscoring the need for learners to enjoy their break and engage in self-guided study if necessary.

The move aims to enforce the school calendar’s integrity, suggesting that the smooth operation of the term’s curriculum negates the need for additional instructional time during holidays. This decision also addresses concerns over the exploitation of vacation schools by some educators, who, due to inadequate salaries, may seek financial gain from parents eager to provide their children with extra tuition, a practice the government views critically.

Furthermore, the ban reflects concerns about the welfare of children seeking private tutoring outside the formal school environment, including the risk of sexual abuse, a scenario the government is keen to avoid. Provincial education directors have been tasked with ensuring strict compliance with this new mandate, ensuring that the focus remains on utilizing the designated school calendar for curriculum completion, thereby allowing students ample time to rest and rejuvenate before the next academic term.

This policy shift poses challenges for parents who are anxious for their children’s academic success and may consider private tutors as an alternative to vacation schools. However, the government’s stance is clear: the safety and well-being of students, alongside the efficient management of the educational curriculum within the established calendar, are paramount.