Tuesday October 16, 2012
Travel plans out the window
By PHILIP HII
SIBU: The change in dates for the first term-school holidays next year has caused much inconvenience and financial losses to a group of more than 30 holiday makers who had purchased air tickets to Bangkok, Thailand.
According to several of them, they bought the air tickets at the beginning of last month, thinking that next year’s first-term school holidays would remain the same as this year’s March 9-17.
However, they were caught by surprise when the Education Ministry announced recently that next year’s first-term school holidays would be from March 23 to 31 instead.
According to one surnamed Yii, the group bought the Sibu-Kuala Lumpur-Bangkok return tickets for about RM824 each.
“Now each of us has to pay a penalty of more than RM200 for changing the dates,” Yii lamented, adding that some of them might consider cancelling the trip.
Yii hoped that in future, the ministry could come up with confirmed dates for the following year’s school holidays by the end of June, at the latest, so people especially teachers, parents and their schoolgoing children could plan their travel well in advance.
When contacted, an officer with the Sibu Education Department said school holidays were never fixed.
“It varies from year to year and we will normally announce the official school holidays for the coming year at the end of September or beginning of October each year,” he said.
The officer advised civil servants, particularly teachers, who planned to make travel arrangements during the school holidays to double check with the ministry to avoid disappointment.