Universal Academic Calendar

People are watching keenly and responding to the reformative measures taken by the administration
Students appearing in exams. [Representational Image]
Students appearing in exams. [Representational Image] File Photo: Mubashir Khan/GK

Good governance and broad vision are key to development. Development in the educational sector is crucial fro the prosperity of a nation. So it is necessary to introduce reformations in this sector.

As the education system in J&K is witnessing a golden period of transformation in different ways, changes are apparent from the ground-level observations. People are watching keenly and responding to the reformative measures taken by the administration.

Government schools are gaining momentum and performance levels are soaring up. It is believed that soon there will be the restoration of the faith and glory in government-run institutions.

Many government schools are showing their full potential and are utilising their capability to surpass the private institutions. In this connection education policy, 2020 has brought revolutionary changes which are feasible in all respects.

In addition to this, the universal academic calendar has been released by the JK BOSE. The main aim of this calendar is to bring uniformity to assessment and examinations. The calendar has proposed fixed dates for all activities of the year. It is hoped that the calendar would prove a landmark in the history of J&K education.

A minimum number of vacations would increase the number of working days in the session and students will get more days to complete the prescribed syllabi. Earlier holidays were announced on a routine basis without considering the weather condition. Sometimes the weather conditions in December used to be favourable for schooling but as a tradition, it was ignored.

It was a tradition to announce winter vacations early and extend them later without considering their bad impact. Now as the vacations would be announced for a specific period that too for a stipulated time of extreme weather conditions.

So the loss of academics would be the least. It is also believed that coaching culture would also be discouraged because students would not find much time to avail of tuition in winter. They will have to go through the preparations in the winter. So it is a blessing in disguise provided schooling is executed on merit.

However, it has been observed that no extreme weather condition has ever stopped students from winter schooling. Students living in extreme weather zones have never failed to attend winter tutorials. Thus it depicts that examinations should be held at the same time that is in March. In March weather conditions in Kashmir’s hilly regions, is not too extreme to attend their schools.

So there should be no separate calendar for the hard zones as mentioned in the academic planner. Many students experience the stress of examinations and become nervous. The wait for examination adds tension to them consequently they are unable to focus on preparations. It is not a sound decision that students of the same class have to appear in the examination at different times. The different sets of paper would also degrade their morale.

For Primary and Middle schools the session should be the same as is prevalent in Kashmir because in winter students find it easy to start afresh. They get assignments from their respective schools to complete in the winter.

Change of session for them will have negative impact because most of them would think that there is no need to revise the assignments they have already accomplished. This would deteriorate their learning level too. Two month-long winter vacation would lose its essence and it would become an vacant period to spend.

Primary school students need regular watch, and activities, to perform better. So, in my opinion, the November session would yielded better results than the March Session.

Jammu region has a warm climate so students belonging to this region get two month long summer vacation soon after the results are announced. Similarly, students of the Kashmir region get months-long winter vacations soon after the results are declared.

In both cases, vacation plays a pivotal role in better learning outcomes. In short, the academic planner released by the J&K BOSE is appreciable and a welcome step. However, for Primary and Middle Schools there should be a separate planner to make the holidays more productive and beneficial for the students.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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