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“MY DAUGHTER is in her first year at Jurong Junior College. Late last year, after she successfully completed her O-level examinations, I started planning a family holiday for the long June break this year.

According to the Ministry of Education (MOE) website, the school holidays for JCs start on May 29 and end tomorrow. Hence, I based our family travel holiday on these dates.

But two months before the start of our holiday, my daughter informed me that her school had scheduled several tests during the break.

Her teacher instructed her to produce a letter explaining her absence from one of the tests before allowing alternative arrangements. Consequently, she must sit three tests in the last week of her school break.

I checked whether the definition of the word ‘holiday’ has changed. It has not.

One dictionary defines a holiday as ‘a period in which a break is taken from work or studies for rest, travel, or recreation’.

Perhaps we need to have a Singapore definition of school holidays as a period in which schools hold their tests.

If schools are not bound by what is stated in the MOE website pertaining to school holidays, then it should not be there in the first place.

Instead, the ministry should leave it to individual schools to schedule their own holiday periods.

If schools are supposed to be bound by what is on the official website, the ministry should then ensure that schools comply.

I urge all schools to give all families a break.”