By Elizabeth Uwandu
BARELY two weeks after the close of third term and the ushering in of long vacation, children are seen back at schools all in the name of summer lesson.
According to popular believe, tlong vacation often called long vac., or summer break require the tclosure of schools to allow pupils trest from the rigours of academic activities. Wikipaedia noted that School holidays (also referred to as vacations, breaks, and recess) are periods during which schools are closed or no classes are held.
Just as the holidays have began to last eight(8)weeks, with private schools having vacated on July 16th to resume by September 13th, .and public schools which vacated on July 10th to resume on September 13th; some stakeholders are raising the question, “ Are parents not abusing the notion of long vacation when their wards spend only two weeks with them and the rest of period of the holiday back are spent at school?
While some parents are of the notion that long vacation entail the period pupils rest from formal academic setting and bond more with their parents, others are of the opinion that keeping children at home for such a long period without engaging them in summer coaching or lesson make these young chaps retrogressive, dull and inactive.
Long vacation is for rest, bond with their parents
For Mrs Adenike Adegoke, an Early Child Specialist, the third term holiday ought to be a period for children to rest , have free time to play and develop their sense of wonder and creativity.
According the child specialist, it was unfair that parents who needed to spend quality time with their wards see them as nuisance and distraction. Her words, We have to be careful our kids don’t burnout to be something else at tender age. They do require some rest from a formalized setting,they need free time to play in order to develop their sense of wonder and creativity
Conitinuing, Mrs Adegoke asked that “Are we really being fair with our children? It seems that we are indirectly implying,the children are a nuisance and distraction. And we are more inclined to get rid of then round the house than having them around us and nuturing them.” said Mrs Adegoke.
Corrolaboating Adegoke claim, Mrs Olubanke Ohunenese, a child advoacte allowing the children off school would rejuvenate them and improve their creative ideas. “ If only vacation could be made to mean what it is intended to be! Rest, rest, rest! Then we could be rejuvenated, become refreshed and develop creative ideas for a new season. “ Ohunenese added.
The holiday is too long, children need to be engaged
For some parents, holiday lesson should be encouraged since it is not modelled to a conventional or formal learning environment , but an avenue to engage the children and help them explore their inner strengths.
Advocating that pupils and students should be encouraged to attend holiday coaching, Mrs Halita Raje, a parents noted that since the holiday was a long one, children should go for lessons to keep their brain and mind refreshed.
“ The holiday is too long, one time I kept my children at home for the long break when school resumed it was tug of war sas they eemed to have forgotten all about school. So holiday school they will go. Its not conventional learning like school session and they close earlier than normal school hours “ suggested, Mrs Raje.
Mrs Damilola Oloyede Olujide-Ojo, Director, The Jewel Childminders, Strategist, Thinktank explained that despite the fact that children needed rest, they should be placed on coaching programmes . Her words, “ Kids need rest agreed. However, career clashes with motherhood on many fronts. So, schools most often than not are the best places to leave children. Since. summer programs are not regimented classroom methods. Children get to learn crafts and acquire skills in non-academic areas.” suggested Mrs Olujide-Ojo.
On his part, Godwin Wecoch, Director Godwin Wecoch schools, observed that summer holiday coaching was fun for children as it increased their levels of skills. “ Most Summer holiday coaching is fun for children because it’s not just classroom learning. The children learn other skills in addition. In my school entrepreneurship are also developed .that my children look forward to it every year. And beside children are on hollidays for 7-8weeks and just 4 or 5 weeks are for Summer school. “
Economic reality responsible for long vacation coashing, however, it is optional
Reacting to whether parents were abusing their children or not by registering them for an holiday lesson , Mrs Elizabeth Akpan pointed out although it was a good idea parents and children spend the holidays together. However, the economic reality where both parents are looking for livelihood make the notion of parents and children spending timeduring the holidays not feasible.
“ The way the world is now, with both parents working fulltime, its better they are back in school being positively engaged.Things are so bad, that now, we can’t trust our kids with our maids, neighbours, friends, etc. You can’t just leave your child in the hands of an uncle or aunty. The school environment seems to be safest. Another way to keep the children safe during this period is when your church has youth retreat or youth camp that’s heavily supervised where the children can , that’s another good one. “
For Mr Etti Ibukun, “ Allowing your kids to attend lesson during holiday or not depends on individual. If you don’t want your kids to go back to school for summer coaching then you must be ready to engage them at least one hour daily to prepare them for the next session. Why wouldn’t you want them to go for summer. Summer is not meant for only class room teaching but other mental and creative activities that iare meant to increase students. skills ?
The real meaning of long vacation
Speaking on the true essence of long break, Mr Adeola Morotito, Director, Pen Talkers said that the holiday period should not necessarily be time to stress the children, but to encourage adequate rest, visits, bonding among their loved ones, including learning vocational skills.
The motivational speaker however called against the use of the word “ summer” as it do not relate to our reality. “ I have been lsurpriesd that we use the term summe in Nigeria when we do not have summer in Nigeria! We don’t have to use a concept the way that do not relate to our realities. .
“The long vacation is a time to rest. However we can engage them in other activities that are less tasking as academics. This is the time to visit the family (travel to know places and people), time to acquire skills in some vocational stuffs, time to learn board games like chess, scrabble, etc, time to even go for internships (for those in secondary schools), time to learn new things – music, sport, etc. We believe too much in book knowledge in Nigeria. Let us use this time to connect with them while also allowing them to rest and do something about their interests and passion. “ said Morotito