-Dr. (Mrs.) Amita Chauhan
Chairperson, Amity Group of Schools
Until a few decades ago, summer vacations meant a mandatory trip to our grandparent’s house, or the annual family vacation to the closest hill station. Children, who for some reason could do neither, would find their own ways to entertain themselves, whether it was by wandering around chasing squirrels and sparrows, or by climbing mango trees that were omnipresent in the summer months. For the less enterprising, it was about mostly staying indoors, with not much productive work to do. Holidays then were obviously synonymous with leisurely days spent with family and friends.
But times have changed now, and so has the idea of fun, with the rising popularity of what we call the summer school! To explain, a summer school offers short-term courses and conducts classes during summer vacations, and these are designed to train children in subjects different from their regular curriculum. They, therefore, provide children with a fine balance between opportunity and thrill, taking their learning to the next level and, above all, giving them novel ways to utilise time! What’s more, this concept has come as a boon for nuclear families where both parents are working, and they are more than happy to see their children indulge in interesting experiences rather than waste time in mindless television binging.
In India, several schools offer a plethora of summer programs. For instance, one can learn a foreign language, hone their music, dance and art skills, or take to gardening and cooking. Children can also train in sports like swimming and gymnastics. The creatively inclined can opt for courses in script writing and filmmaking, while for those with a scientific temperament, courses in robotics and astronomy are aplenty. Summer school courses not only provide a new learning, but also add to the credentials on the resume of a student. Many children plan of going to their favorite university for higher studies, whether in India or abroad, and summer schools can make it easier for them to get into their dream colleges. Since a lot of colleges and universities have an application and profile-based admission process, which gives more importance to individual achievement and experience than an academic score, joining a summer school is always a win-win situation. It showcases that a child has made the effort to go beyond the classroom to expand his or her learning. Since a summer school aims to inculcate expertise in a specific stream and knowledge, it adds to the child’s skill set. These creatively designed programmes focus on individual ability and talent and hence prepare a child for college life.