• Ted Fraser

Do We Need Summer Vacation?

With summer vacation recently coming to a close, it's hard to imagine what students, teachers, parents, and society in general would do without it. Without the two month long vacation, students would most likely be the group that suffers the most. After 10 months of homework and stress, the invaluable two month break gives students time to relax and recharge for the the next school year. Working year round without any substantial breaks could increase the risk of burnout among students, not to mention it would most likely bring down the quality of, and effort put into, schoolwork. Being in school instead of working a job would be the biggest hit to students. They couldn't gain any work experience to bulk up their resumes, or any money to put towards university. Additionally, with the (rare) hot weather, an increase in students skipping class would almost certainly occur. For teachers, although they would make more money for working an additional two months, it's hard to believe that they would think that it was worth it. Having a two month break is unheard of in almost every other profession and, in my opinion, it would be one of the best parts about being a teacher. Crossing guards, bus drivers, and cafeteria workers would all have to work for the additional two months as well, in turn making more money. The HRSB would have to pump more money into schools and increase the salaries of all the teachers. As well, because of the hot weather, the HRSB would have to pay more money for air conditioning as well as increased water fees stemming from augmented water fountain use. If students worked through July and August, numerous stores and services would definitely lose money. Among these would be summer camps, restaurants, country clubs (think the Waeg, Ashburn, etc.) and corner stores. Because of this, university students and young people (usually the ones working these types of summer jobs) would lose money too, leading to higher unemployment and, potentially in turn, a sluggish economy. Back to school sales would be a thing of the past; clothing shops and school supply stores would no doubt lose money. As well, all shops and services associated with vacations would miss out on extra cash. Airlines, trains, taxis, cottages, resorts, and tourism (not only in Nova Scotia but in any place people would have gone before) would suffer. However, there would be some benefits of working 12 months of the year. Students wouldn't forget the material they learned the previous year, classes at the beginning of the year wouldn't be wasted reviewing curriculum, and handwriting wouldn't be illegible the first week back at school.

Perhaps the best option would be to shorten summer vacation, changing to the South Korean model of 220 school days a year instead of the 185 (pending snow days) most Canadians spend in school.

All in all, the summer break serves as a nice, well-deserved break for most students and although some forget how to complete the square or how to conjugate le subjonctif, they come back reenergized and motivated to learn how to do it all over again.