School’s move to change calendar sparks protest

A view of the Lycee Francaise French School in Puducherry.   | Photo Credit: S_S_KUMAR

Concerned over the change in school calendar in the International French School of Pondicherry (Lycee Francais de Pondicherry), APE Lycee Francais Parents’ Association on Monday staged a protest demonstration in front of Head Post Office in Puducherry on Monday.

The Association President Chantal Samuel David said that the school management is insisting on changing the school calendar on the lines of schools in France.

“Since the inception of Lycee Francais, the school calendar was always adapted to its local environment. In recent years, the courses were ending in mid-May, taking into account the summer heat, and resumed in mid-July. The schools following other curriculum in Puducherry close even earlier,” she said.

She added: “This year, the school management wanted to change the school calendar to adopt to the calendar practices in France, that is from September to July. When it was called for vote, all the parents voted against it. But, this year, the management has stubbornly put up this issue on the agenda of school council.”

If this is approved, she said that the examination will be scheduled either in mid May or June. “By doing this, they will be ignoring the well-being of the schoolchildren especially those who make long trips from the suburbs in summer to school,” said the association president.

“This is not conducive to the students or parents living in Puducherry. It is extremely hot during this period of the year,” she said.

The school board management meeting was held in December last year. “The 15-member board comprises of 3 parents, 2 students, 5 from the management, 4 teachers and an administrative staff. When they called for vote to approve the change in school calendar, all the five including 3 parents and 2 students opposed it while the 10 others voted for it,” she said.

A protest was held on January 24, when a delegation of parents went to meet the Principal of Lycee Francais asking him to retrieve the calendar.

Another parent, on condition of anonymity, said that they have tried to convince the management that the new schedule will not suit the conditions in Puducherry and that they have always followed the Indian school calendar. “Majority of the parents who send their children to the Lycee in Puducherry are residents of this town. There has always been a close link between Puducherry and France and several French citizens follow the Indian calendar,” said the parent.

The representatives of the association underlined that they have appealed against the decision to change the school calendar to the Ambassador of France in India. “We are holding this protest today because the management is meeting again this evening to take a call on the calendar issue. If they do not accept our demands, we will approach the French Senators in France and intensify our protest,” they said.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 7:03:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/schools-move-to-change-calendar-sparks-protest/article22662950.ece

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