Students of some schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) need to plan their summer vacation this year carefully. This has become important in the backdrop of the schools opting for a new pattern from the forthcoming academic year towards adapting to the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) system introduced by the Board.

Under the new pattern, the current academic year will be brought to a close later this month-end. The results will be declared soon thereafter. After a short break of a week to 10 days, classes for the new academic year will begin and then the schools will break for the second part of the summer holidays in the last week of April.

Chettinad Vidyashram is one of the schools introducing the changes. According to its Principal S. Amudha Lakshmi, the change is being implemented from class I onwards. “This academic year ends on March 22 and then we take a short break. We come back in April to begin the next academic year and wind up the session on April 29, to break for vacation again.”

Sir Sivaswami Kalalaya Senior Secondary School has also sent out a circular to the parents recently, stating that the last day of this academic year would be March 14 for classes IX and XI, and March 15 for the rest of the classes. The new academic session will begin on April 6 and go on till April 29. The school reopens after summer vacation on June 8. The change in these schools is said to be an attempt to make the implementation of the CCE system easier. “The CCE warrants a semester pattern. So, the first semester will be from April to September, and the second from October to March,” Ms. Amudha Lakshmi explains.

On how the parents responded, she says they were informed about the new system well ahead, in November and so they were “already prepared” for it, she adds. Also, the number of holidays continues to be 64, as was the case earlier. This is a clear departure for schools in the city. While beginning classes for the next year before the close of the current academic session, particularly when it is a board examination year, is common, but scheduling the official beginning of the next academic session in April and working through the month is relatively new. “It is common among Kendriya Vidyalayas and places like New Delhi where May and June are very hot months. Many schools there reopen in July,” says CBSE's regional officer N. Nagaraju. Noting that the Board does not interfere in such matters, Mr. Nagaraju adds: “We only give broad guidelines regarding the total number of working days per year which is about 210-220. Schools have to ensure that is followed. Otherwise, they have autonomy to schedule their academic sessions as per their convenience.”

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Meera SrinivasanJune 28, 2012