Summer holidays necessary for students; state govt order against vacation classes ‘need of the hour’: Kerala HC

Vacations are necessary as they give students a break after a hectic academic year and help them rejuvenate themselves for the next one, Kerala High Court said on Wednesday while terming as “need of the hour” a state government order prohibiting schools from conducting classes during the summer holidays.

Justice P V Kunhikrishnan was also of the view that holidays allow students to shift their focus from traditional study to extra-curricular activities and also spend time with their kith and kin.

“There is a purpose in giving vacations to the student community. After a hectic academic year, the students need a break. The students should enjoy the vacations and rejuvenate for their next academic year. Holiday breaks allow the students to shift their focus from traditional study materials.

“They can reach their other ambitions in extra-curricular activities, which they are generally not able to address during the school year. Summer vacation is necessary for the students for spending time with their kith and kins and for a mental break,” the high court said.

The court also said that another hectic academic year is coming and before that a break was necessary for students, especially those of class 10 and higher secondary school.

“In such a situation, I am of the considered opinion that the order passed by the DGE is the need of the hour. This Court need not invoke the powers under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to interdict an order passed by the DGE.

“Let them (students) sing, let them dance, let them eat their favourite food leisurely without the fear of next day’s home work, let them enjoy their favourite television programmes, let them play cricket, football or their favourite sports items and let them enjoy trips with their kith and kins,” the court said.

The observations by the court came while hearing several writ petitions by CBSE schools challenging an order dated May 3 issued by the Director of General Education (DGE) directing all the primary, secondary and higher secondary schools in government, aided and unaided sectors not to conduct vacation classes.

The petitioners contended that the DGE has no power to issue such an order against CBSE schools.

A vacation single judge bench of the high court had stayed implementation of the order for two weeks on May 9 relying on a 2018 decision of the court which had said that if there was no objection from the parents, teachers and students, the special classes can be conducted during the summer vacation on condition that the school authorities will provide basic facilities.

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Justice Kunhikrishnan, on Wednesday, said that he did not agree with the dictum laid down in the 2018 order of the high court as the same, in his considered opinion, would go against the rules.

“Therefore the observations in the above case require reconsideration,” he said and referred the matter to a division bench. At the same time, the judge also declined to extend the interim stay granted by it on May 9.

“I am not inclined to extend the interim order. The petitioners can agitate their contention before the division bench,” Justice Kunhikrishnan said.

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