Teachers and non-teaching staff of state-run schools and junior colleges have appealed to the state government to grant Christmas holidays. Teachers fear they might have to work continuously and conduct regular online classes as the state School Education Department has not issued a notice or government resolution (GR) declaring winter break till now.
Generally, teachers get at least 10 days off as Christmas vacation or winter break from December 23 to January 2 or January 3 every academic cycle. But, this year, due to the lockdown necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers fear they might not get their due holidays and may have to continue regular online classes throughout December.
Rajesh Pandya, a senior teacher and vice-president of Teachers Democratic Front (TDF), said, "We are entitled to 76 holidays in an academic year. But, this year, due to the pandemic situation, we have not got our rightful holidays. Our holidays during Ganesh festival and Diwali vacation were reduced, so it is high time that teachers are given a much-needed winter break from online education."
In addition, Christmas holidays will act as a break for students too who have adjusted to new online systems of education, according to junior college teachers. Priya Kumar, a junior college teacher said, "Students have faced a paradigm shift in daily learning and adjusted to the online system of regular classes. But a break is necessary as it will help refresh the minds of students and also give teachers a breather before the new year begins."
Pandya said the state School Education Department has not issued any GR or notice declaring Christmas vacation or winter break for school and junior college teachers till now. Pandya said, "We are awaiting a notice from the state regarding winter break. If not 10 days, the state should at least declare 7 days off as Christmas break."