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Potatop breaks come a cropper

CANADA: A century-and-a-half of tradition is coming to an end as the 16 schools of New Brunswick's District 13 hold their last "potato break", writes Nathan Greenfield. The three-week breaks take place in September so that students can help pick the potato crop.

Thirty years ago, 70 per cent of students participated in the harvest, but since mechanical harvesters appeared on the hills in the early 1990s the number has dropped to 30 per cent.

A pressure group, Parents for an Uninterrupted Education, said the harvest wreaked havoc with the "learning atmosphere" and meant students were returning early to baking hot classrooms in August just so that the potato days could be fitted in.

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