A new academic calendar has been issued by the Directorate of Education (S) of the Government of Manipur for all the schools in the state for the session (2023-24). In compliance with the order all the government, government-aided, private-unaided schools have started their classes from 9am onwards since November 20, 2023. The notification issued on November 17, 2023 also mentions of final examination starting from January 10 to 25, 2024 and winter vacation from January 26 to February 11, 2024. The new academic session will start from February 12, 2024.
Talking with some parents and guardians in this regard, they have expressed different views and comments with this government order. A mother of two sons from Chana Mayai Leikai in Imphal East expressed that as her sons’ school is about 23 kilometers from her home, the school van used to come early and drop them at the last. They reached home at around 4pm and feel exhausted and have less time for rest before going for private tuition. As habituated to the earlier routine, it’s hard to adjust with the new time table being the same timing to get ready for her office also. So, she prefers the previous school timing than the new routine. She is confused with the final examination scheduled of her sons as of now there is no notification from the school whether the school will follow the government’s order or will followed the schedule announced earlier by the school.
Another guardian from Wangkhei Thangjam Leikai in Imphal East narrated that her nephew returns home late at around 4pm which is already dark as it is winter season and have less time for rest after school as his tuition starts from 4pm. Before the new school timing he returned home by 2.30pm which he has enough time to take tiffin and rest before he starts his studies or going for other sports activities. With more traffic jams as it is wedding season and with the same timing people returning from offices his school van reached home late. It’s better to start school early to return home early, he added.
A parent from Pishum Oinam Leikai in Imphal West opined that now her children could enjoy their meals without hasty as the class starts from 9am. Before the new school timing, her children take only breakfast and tiffin for school only. But with sudden announcement of the new examination schedule by the government in January next year, the preparedness for the final examination has been slow down. The family has arranged many plans in December after the examination according to the academic calendar followed from the start of the present academic session 2023-24. All their plans have to be cancelled as the final examination is due in January next year. She expressed her desire to have the academic calendar before the session starts. She also appealed the authority to announce a complete year-long academic calendar for all the schools in advance so that every activity can be performed in a planned manner.
One mother of students studying in class 3 and KG from Thangmeiband Polem Leikai in Imphal West narrated that the timing of her children hampers her domestic activities. Normally after she sends her children to school she finished all the remaining chores of domestic work within few hours before she goes for her office. Sometimes it makes delay her to office. So, she prefers the old school timing than the new one. It’s a good habit to make children wake up early as the school starts early. With the arrival of winter season and new school timing starting from 9am makes her children wake up late than before. She opined to have same school hours for all the schools in Manipur so that all the children of her family can enjoy together at one same time.
From the experiences and opinions expressed by some parents regarding the new academic calendar, it gives a clear picture of different difficulties faced by both parents and children.
Parents play a crucial role in their children’s education by fostering a supportive learning environment, encouraging curiosity, and actively engaging in their academic journey. Additionally, parents help their children with homework, communicate with teachers to stay informed and instill values like discipline and responsibility. Being involved in educational activities and promoting a love for learning can positively impact a child’s overall development. It’s the responsibility of the parents, government, schools and society to make children a responsible citizen of the country. For a better future we need a good quality education system. Apart from academic, students need to be fit physically and be skilled in different fields. So, academic calendar for all educational institutions should reflect a holistic perspective for the overall personality development of a student. And the sudden change of academic calendar in mid-session amidst the ongoing violent conflict makes both parents and children find it difficult to follow.environmen