Last week saw many of our local schools off for the week on mid-term.
This particular mid-term break seems difficult to justify in the middle of winter, just five weeks after the Christmas holidays.
Children are bored; while parents are inconvenienced and must arrange different work schedules.
It may also interfere with the revision plans for the Junior and Leaving Certificate and last week, we heard many parents voicing their concerns on that very issue.
Primary schools got just two days off, which is probably about right.
Having hundreds of teenagers off school with little to do can cause problems in the community and unfortunately some of these will come under the attention of the Gardaí.
There were many acts of vandalism in Waterford last week, with thefts from shops reported and car windows smashed at several locations. Obviously parental control or lack thereof is a problem in these situations.
The schools do manage to contain and control many youth-orientated problems and do so very well, but that obviously doesn’t apply when classrooms are empty.
The schools and Gardaí often have to deal with the social problems that emerge from troubled homes, leaving officer and teacher to deal with disciplinary issues as their remits dictate.
Perhaps a look at altering the spring mid-term could be examined for next year.
Why not transfer it entirely and incorporate it into either a longer Christmas or Easter break, when parents are in ‘holiday mode’ and don’t have as much rearranging to do?
Having hundreds of teenagers off with nothing to do but hang about is far from ideal, so perhaps the abolition of the spring mid-term ought to be examined.
It would be difficult to imagine parents, especially where both are working, objecting to such a change.
Feedback from other parts of the country might reveal a concurrence with this particular locally-held view.