The winter break for students has arrived.

It is a time for students to unwind and regenerate before the next academic year.

Some plan to spend their vacations productively. Some may not have an idea of what to do.

What is important is that we as parents and guardians ensure that our children don’t spend the break idle or engaging in activities that break the law.

Like some students in Dagana who become mandarine collectors during their winter breaks, we can encourage the students to take up temporary jobs. The mandarine collectors in Dagana use their earnings to fund their school expenses in the next academic year. They set an excellent example of how to productively use their break.

Not all need to be employed throughout the break. Perhaps, just a portion of it. Even being paid should not be a perquisite. It’s the experience that counts.

Besides parents, NGOs, CSOs and other organisations could also offer temporary jobs for those students looking for one. For instance, we have just completed a nationwide cleaning campaign. The importance is now on sustaining the effort. Organisations could employ students to not only continue cleaning campaigns but also in raising awareness on the need to keep our neighbourhoods clean.

There are also charitable activities that organisations can pursue with the help of students.

Getting employed is not necessary. Any activity that our students pursue during the break, be it dancing, singing, art, reading, or playing a sport should be encouraged.

While some of the sports federations are organising sports events for the students, we need more sports competitions, not just in Thimphu but throughout the country.

This is an important time for parents and guardians to spend time with the children in their care. Some may argue that they don’t have time for the children. But time must be made.

Parents and guardians must talk with their children, to find out what they plan to do. We should try to attend the sports events or other activities they take part in to show our support. But we must also respect their privacy. The time’s are changing and we need to begin treating our young as adults at an earlier age, so that they too behave as adults.

The students are the future of the nation and deserve the extra attention.