The overnight onslaught of wintry rains prompted Ranchi district education department on Monday itself to stretch school vacations by another week.
Government and private cradles of Ranchi will now reopen on January 13 for junior students of classes I to VIII.
District education officer (DEO) Maheep Kumar Singh, who told The Telegraph a decision to this effect was taken on Monday evening, added: “We do not want to risk the health of schoolchildren. This weather is conducive to children catching a cold or worse. Hence, both government and private schools will remain closed till January 12. Our directive is effective from tomorrow (Tuesday) onwards.”
Senior students, from Classes IX to XII, will attend school “normally, but from 10am onwards”, the DEO directed.
Most schools, closed for winter around mid-December, had opened on Monday, the first one in 2014.
But rains and chilly winds that started in Ranchi from Sunday evening and intensified overnight. Together, this wet-chill combination ensured a larger helping of Monday morning blues than normal for both students and their parents.
Capital-based parents’ organisation Ranchi Abhibhavak Manch requested district administration to close schools due to fall in temperature readings in view of the health of children.
“We are happy that the administration was active and prompt in taking a decision today (Monday) itself,” said its convener Ajay Rai.
Schools are also falling in line. “We reopened our school after winter vacations but we can’t violate administration decisions,” principal of Army School A.K. Singh said.
Most parents — who dragged their wards to designated school bus stops or drove them to their cradles on Monday morning, braving the weather — also sounded relieved.
“My daughter Rishika, a Class I student of Surendranath Centenary School, refused to attend school due to bad weather. I was worried as her annual exams are approaching. But the decision taken by the administration has brought us relief,” said Monika Lal, a Bariatu resident.
Normally, Jharkhand Education Tribunal (JET) decides on keeping schools closed if the temperature dips, but for the past three years, it not done so.