It is a good decision, no doubt. The teachers and students of the country's primary and secondary schools will enjoy a two-day weekly holiday on Friday and Saturday. The two-day weekly break will be effective from 2023. By taking the decision, the government has provided a better relaxation time for teachers, students and staff of the educational institutions. The decision is also an acknowledgement of the fact that without enough breathing space education can prove dull and drudgery to both learners and preceptors.
Currently, schools are officially open for six days a week although some schools allow a two-day holiday. There is no valid reason to keep the schools open for six days, which is stressful, unhealthy and costlier in every sense. Students and their guardians have to struggle hard daily to reach schools on time as chaotic traffic in Dhaka and also many other parts of the country take a heavy toll on them. Most of the children lose their energy travelling to and from schools daily.
Many guardians especially mothers have to take extra loads, spending valuable time due to bad traffic. Teachers also face the same problem. The combined result is tired students and exhausted teachers meet each other in the classrooms where they can't receive and deliver their best.
Weekly one-day holiday also makes the lives of students, guardians and teachers painful. Many of them cannot enjoy the holiday but have to attend to pending family affairs and homework. After spending six hectic days at a stretch, the rest day becomes short-lived and inadequate. This is a reality in the country which is largely ignored by the authorities. The government employees enjoy a two-day holiday. Bankers and some other professionals also enjoy the same. Most of the tertiary educational institutions are also entitled to get two-day weekly leisure. So, why not the schools?
Most of the schools cannot provide the necessary space for sports and physical recreational activities. So, students have to confine themselves to classrooms or limited outdoors during school time. The six-day class also does not give them any chance to visit other places for sports and physical activities. Now, they will get some time to do so.
Some argue that schools have vacations like summer, winter and Ramadan. These are all necessary vacations and both students and teachers should enjoy them. In many cases, school authorities, however, bar teachers from enjoying such vacations, which is proves counterproductive.
The government may now think of introducing the two-day weekly holiday with effect from the current year. As some of the pandemic-related restrictions are still there, it will be better to switch to a two-day weekly holiday in schools gradually this year. The pandemic has demonstrated that schools need to be more creative to ensure the optimal use of school time no matter whether it is even four-day a week. So the government may also consider fixing any of the five weekdays as a day for extra-curricular activities, and indoor sports. Finally, there is a need for strictly implementing the two-day weekly holiday. No school should be allowed to open in the name of coaching or special class.