In the past, school holidays came with lots of expectations from both students and parents as they provide an opportunity for students to take a break, recharge, visit distant relatives and friends, and in some cases assist parents in the place of business or learn handwork before another term begins. However, the story cannot be said to be the same today, especially with the way private schools operate in the country.
Today, during the holidays, many schools introduce compulsory supplementary lessons and practices for co-curricular activities, especially with the disruption of the academic calendar by COVID-19, as a way to meet up with the academic calendar.
Students are currently on holiday but it seems many are beginning to lose sight of what it means to have a holiday because the private schools are keeping a lot of them in school for Summer classes, a step which has triggered reactions from parents and educationists.
The chairman of Voyage International School, Abuja, Yussuff Oriyomi, said Summer is the period of holiday when children are not in school. “We basically use the period for co-curricular activities to make students learn essential skills both hard and soft in areas like swimming, football, fashion designing, etc.”
Oriyomi said: “It is open to all categories of students because it is a period that should be used for co-curricular activities like entrepreneurship skills. If it will include any academic content, it should be minimal and that should be in subjects where a child is struggling.”
He, however, debunked the allegation that private schools pressure parents into enrolling their wards in summer classes, saying, “Summer school is optional in all schools that I know and it remains so in ours.”