|The mercury mayhem may grant schoolchildren an extended vacation, but college-goers (above) in Ranchi are not as lucky and had to improvise to keep harsh rays of the sun at bay on Monday. Pictures by Prashant Mishra
No rain, no school.
Schoolchildren in Ranchi and Jamshedpur can look forward to an extended summer vacation if monsoon doesn’t reach Jharkhand this week. And which is very likely.
Four cradles in the steel city — Valley View School, Kashidih High School, Jusco School-South Park and Jusco School-Kadma, which had planned to reopen on Monday, have already stretched holidays by a week. Classes will now resume on June 16 like at many other schools in the state capital.
“We had the lengthy syllabus in mind and had, therefore, decided to reopen early. However, the heat won’t make things easy for children. While morning classes won’t be a problem, coping with the afternoon sun after school gets over will be difficult. We don’t want them (students) falling sick,” said Francis Joseph, the principal of Kashidih High School.
If the heat wave, the alert for which was extended on Sunday, continues and there is no rain respite, the school has decided to extend its vacation until the weather is more merciful. “We shall wait and watch,” said Joseph.
Maximum temperatures in the steel city and its adjoining areas have been hovering between 40°C and 42°C this month. The average discomfort index too has been around 62 degrees, seven notches above normal.
“We shall watch till the end of this week. Hopefully, we will be able to reopen on June 16 as scheduled, but you never know (if the weather will change for the better),” said Ashu Tiwary, the principal of Motilal Nehru Public School.
Several other English-medium schools in Jamshedpur too are expected to take a decision after this weekend. A.P.R. Nair, secretary of the Association of Jharkhand Unaided Private Educational Institutions, said they might extend the vacation if temperatures did not drop below 40°C.
The challenge will be to finish syllabus for higher grades once the prolonged vacation ends. Some schools, like the Kashidih cradle, have decided to hold classes on Saturdays.
In Ranchi, which is usually cooler owing to its altitude advantage, Bridgeford School opened on Monday while Tender Heart is scheduled to resume classes from Tuesday.
However, deputy commissioner Vinay Kumar Choubey has asked all cradles — both government and private — to stretch their summer vacations till June 14.
“The weather is still uncomfortable in Ranchi. The DC’s order holds true for all schools. Though many were reopening on June 16 or later anyway, the administration has taken a precautionary decision by enforcing holidays till June 14,” said district education officer Shiv Charan Marandi.
No one seems to be complaining, of course.
“Earlier, we were scheduled to reopen on June 11, but now our school will commence from June 16,” confirmed Gurunanank School principal Manohar Lal.
“It is a good decision. I hope schools stay shut till the rains arrive. Although it will mount syllabus pressure on students, it is better than falling ill in this heat,” said Subir Biswas, a parent.
Ranchi institutions, which will resume classes from June 16, include all Bishop Westcott schools, JVM-Shyamali, St Mary’s School in Doranda, St Thomas School and DAV-Hehal.