Parents have made requests to schools to extend the vacation or grant their children some more days of leave because of the festive season, said principals of several schools.
There have been examples of leave applications even before the pandemic but it is more of a post-pandemic phenomenon because during two years of online classes many students would be able to attend school from outside the city.
At least one school received requests from parents to send them link for online classes, something that they turned down.
Parents feel that they can negotiate with anything now, a school head said.
At least two schools received requests for leave between Durga Puja and Diwali holidays.
Many schools reopened after the Lakshmi Puja and closed again for Diwali.
“There were parents who were travelling abroad and made requests for extended holidays. We refused to give them documents from the school that would grant them leave for visa applications,” said John Bagul, principal, South City International School.
Countries like the US and those in Europe ask for the school calendar when students are travelling, said Anil Punjabi, chairman east, Travel Agents Federation of India.
“If the travel time is outside of the non-seasonal holidays like summer or winter, some of the countries want a document from the school stating that the students have been granted a leave,” said Punjabi.
Schools have to turn down requests to stick to their policies and the flexibility that was allowed during online classes cannot be allowed during in-person classes and parents have to be more accepting of that, said a school principal.
In one school that is scheduled to reopen on Friday, there were emails requesting them to reopen next week.
“Parents have come to believe that everything is negotiable. But it is not. The school has certain policies that it will follow,” said Nupur Ghosh, vice principal of Mahadevi Birla World Academy.
Several schools schedule a test on the first day of school after a vacation to ensure attendance and prevent children from missing classes.
“It is a discipline that we have to instil in children,” said a teacher. “But more than children these requests are because of parents and they want to make use of the holiday season,” she said.
If it is a Friday, then parents can make use of the Saturday and Sunday as well, which is usually a holiday for them.
“Parents wanted us to share links of classes for the period we reopened between Durga Puja and Diwali. These are parents who are travelling abroad but we had to turn them down. Unless in an emergency, we are not giving online classes “ said Amita Prasad, director, Indus Valley World School.
Terence Ireland, principal, St. James’ School said the request comes from parents also because they were unable to get return ticket on time.