Editorial: Let's talk school holidays

18:22, Jan 07 2013

In three weeks schools will reopen, which will coincide exactly with the best weather of the year.

Settled, hot days. Perfect time to plonk kids down in classrooms. Not.

No wonder schools kick the year off with so many sports events.

This week or next the mums and dads will be returning to work, their holiday taken because it coincides with those of their kids and Christmas, which coincides, again exactly, with something we call summer which, at that time of year, never is.

Simple answer? Shift summer. But wait, mother nature has already done that. All we have to do is shift our holidays to fit in with her.

There has been talk in high places (Wellington) about this.


The positives?

Our tents don't get wet. Our kids do. In lakes and rivers, not puddles. We don't get blown about as much.

Christmas and New Year become their own, shortened holiday, leaving us to have our REAL summer holiday in February.

Parents struggling to recover financially from Christmas get until March to buy school uniforms and books.

The country doesn't grind to a halt in January, which could be better for tourists.

The negatives?

The country grinds to a halt in February.

Which isn't necessarily when other countries grind to a halt.

The school year no longer nicely fits the calendar year, although surely that's just a mind thing.

Unless you are sitting NZQA exams, in which case your main study period would be around Christmas. Yuck.

Unless we get really radical, and shift the school year by six months, ending it in winter.

Which would take some transitioning, which wouldn't be easy. By "wouldn't be easy", I mean hard.

Oh, and the change from summer to winter uniform will be midterm. How will we remember that?

And, finally, those without children or whose children have moved on, won't have February to themselves any more.

But it's still worth talking about.

Or do we need much consultation at all? Someone managed to change the term dates to fit something called the Rugby World Cup without too much discussion.

Of course, you know what will happen don't you? In the first year they change, there will be floods throughout the country.

In February.

The Timaru Herald