With the State government not making any changes to an earlier announcement of Dasara holidays between October 3 and October 16, schools in Dakshina Kannada are in a quandary as Dasara, an important festival in the region, starts from September 26 and ends on October 5.
“Like the past, the government is making us wait till the last moment to change the holiday schedule. This is hurting not only us but also the parents and students,” said a headmaster of an aided school in Mangaluru.
As per the circular related to calendar of events issued by Department of Public Instructions on April 20, the Dasara holidays have been fixed between October 3 and October 16. The Pre-University Department has announced holidays from October 1 to 13.
“By this schedule, holidays are only for the last few day of the festival (which is till October 5),” said Dinesh, a resident of Surathkal. “The government has not allowed our children to freely take part in the 10-day festival, which is an important one for us,” he added.
The problem is acute for Shri Vyasa Maharshi Vidyapeeta in Mulky, which is run by Venkataramana Temple that celebrates the festival in a grand manner. “The school cannot function during Dasara. There are other temple-run schools and schools close to temples, which face this problem. It’s strange to see the silence of the government,” said a headmaster of an aided school and a member of District High School Headmasters’ Association.
Mismatch between the Dasara festival and holidays announced by the State government has been occurring since the last three years. “The government has failed to incorporate changes to calendar of events and announce holidays correctly. They wait till the last minute and it would repeat this year too,” said a teacher of a government school from the district.
Sudden announcement of holidays disturbs academic schedule. In the last two months, 10 days were lost due to heavy rains and a day was lost because of the Prime Minister’s visit, the teacher said.
Some schools like Lourdes Central School and schools run by Saraswat Education Society have made changes to announce holidays between September 26 and October 5. “We are finishing mid-term examinations by September 25 and declaring the holidays from September 26. The school reopens after the end of Dasara festival,” said Father Robert D’Souza, Principal of Lourdes Central School.