De-Nobili School, CMRI, will start from 8.30am from Saturday. (Gautam Dey)
All government and private schools of Dhanbad will start late and shut early from Saturday in accordance with a district administration directive to protect the children from extreme cold.
According to the order issued by Dhanbad deputy commissioner (DC) Prashant Kumar on Friday, the schools have been instructed to not start classes before 8.30am and wrap up by 2.30pm. The new timings will be in place till the DC’s office changes it.
Usually, several schools in Dhanbad start as early as 6.45am or 7am when the chill is most severe and fog most dense. Dhanbad recorded a minimum temperature of 8.5°C and a maximum reading of 24.1°C on Friday, which is lower than Thursday’s 9.2°C and 23°C, respectively.
“We will abide by the district authorities order and change the school timings,” said the principal of De-Nobili School, Digwadih, S. Kennedy.
Students are naturally happy.
“Mornings are really chilly here. It was a challenge to get up so early as my school starts at 7am. I am happy that I can reach school by 8.30am now,” said M.K. Mukherjee, a Class VIII student of De Nobili, CMRI.
Although the Bokaro district administration is yet to come up with any such official fiat, several schools there have changed class timings on their own in view of the cold weather. On Friday, the maximum and minimum temperatures in Bokaro read 19.8°C and 7.6°C, respectively.
Crescent Public School, Chinmaya Vidyalaya, SP School and some other cradles, which used to start between 6.30am and 7am, have pushed back the timing to 8am.
“The morning hours in Bokaro are very, very cold. It’s a mighty ordeal for the students, especially those studying in junior classes, to reach school before 7am. Once the temperature rises, we will revert to our original timings,” said A.K Gupta, principal of Crescent Public School.
Ranchi and Hazaribagh have gone a step further, extending the winter vacations by a week. The move has been severely criticised by Father P.J. James, principal of St Xavier’s School, Hazaribagh.
He has found support from several principals in Jamshedpur, which is yet to follow in the footsteps of other districts and shut down schools or change class timings.