principal’s message on the eve of summer vacation!
The ICSE examination ended yesterday for the students of Class 10 and in a few days our first batch of Class 12 would have taken the ISC examination. The other children will also be completing the year-end academic demands by then. The eagerly awaited summer vacation of different durations will begin for all children immediately after that!
One of the intentions of education is to simplify our lives so that we can discover or sense wonder in the little things of life in a world where many learn to seek misery in the midst of comforts.
A long vacation is the most unenviable part of school life! It provides time for rest and leisure. It provides the fallow period in which, one need not add to the experiences or knowledge if one chooses to. One can just laze around, unwind, eat, play and make merry! And it is surely well deserved-have human children been designed for attending the assembly line model of schooling for 15 years or have they come about to experience the glory of human existence? Have they not the right to sense the world in myriad ways at least during the vacation?
It is during the vacation that what has been gathered during the session of the school can be allowed to settle down, break down, resolved and be assimilated into one’s being. Usually, a child grows up in many ways during the holidays including in the physical parameters like height and weight. A teacher too rejuvenates and re-invigorates during the vacation to resume the next academic year with new energies. Sometimes the experience of vacation could make a child forget all the mathematics and English that has been taught during the previous year! It seems to me that a test of how good a vacation was is decided by whether a child remembers what has been learnt during the previous year! Unfortunately for the sensible and thoughtful educators like me and fortunately for many teachers around the world this experience of a good vacation is becoming rare these days. What with the changed perception of parents towards school education the children are usually subjected more directed and focused programs and courses. The preciousness of a good vacation during childhood of a human being is being traded for preparing a child for “better” adult life. It is the adults, who live a shallow and uneventful life, that are authorized to decide what kind of vacation the child will experience and what better adult life means. Should this be treated as act of ignorance or an act of smartness! Do we know the difference between the two? How will the adult ever realize the gravity of the “sin” committed? To deprive he child of her childhood vacation is like depriving a flower of its fragrance. What is the trade off being attempted? How do we educate children and their parents that we need to educate ourselves such that we can experience human existence properly at every stage of our lives?
As the academic year comes to a close for most children even I seem to be in a holiday mood! But that is not possible for the parent-teacher meeting is round the corner and the extended classes of the board batches are about to commence. The school is in for a lot of intensive activities during the next academic year. Even a few teachers are on campus with me during this summer and maybe we could all together plan some outings!
The vacation of childhood is not available to teachers like me any longer! We need to make do with small “breaks!” The decelerated pace of life on campus during the vacation, when very few people live, makes life rich and reflective. The beauty and serenity of the place becomes palpably regenerating making the onlooker enchanted and ecstatic! The thought of the lovely, slow paced days ahead makes my heart race towards the summer vacation. I hope our children will be able to enjoy their holidays and vacation in the spirit that the child in me is able to sense even today!