210 school days row: 'Don't rob childhood,' NS Madhavan tells Kerala Education Department

NS Madhavan. File photo: Manorama

The Kerala Education Department's decision to shrink the summer vacation to accommodate more school days has not gone down well with noted writer and former bureaucrat, NS Madhavan.

"Our education department is under the false pretense that schools are the sole provider of education in childhood," tweeted Madhavan.

The state government plans to increase the number of school days to 210 a year. To make this happen, the annual school closing date has been extended from March 31 to April 5, meaning the summer holiday will shrink by a week.

Moreover, state schools will function on at least 12 Saturdays this academic year.

"In the formative years, the knowledge accumulated on holidays is very important. That is when a child excels in games and grows by reading. Schools are not for creating dull students," Madhavan tweeted.

He listed a few examples; the UK has 190 schooling days annually while it is between 160-180 in the US, 144 in France (four days a week) and 210 in Japan, where several days are used for extracurricular activities and field trips.

"The education department should return the holidays to the children. Don't rob their childhood. Learning doesn't happen in schools alone," Madhavan tweeted.

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