The West Bengal school education department has issued a letter to the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) and the West Bengal Board of Primary Education (WBBPE), advising them to declare summer vacation from May 2 to June 15 in view of the prevailing heatwave condition in the state.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee earlier recommended that all educational institutions across West Bengal take an early summer break. She had asked senior officials to communicate to schools that they should start the summer vacation from May 2. The appeal was extended to private institutions as well.
“Due to heatwave and prevailing situation, it is advised to declare summer vacation in the schools under your administrative control with effect from 2nd May, 2022, till 15th June, 2022, or until further instructions whichever is earlier except for the hilly areas Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts, where in existing academic schedule may continue until further order,” stated the letter signed by the principal secretary to the West Bengal government, Manish Jain.
An association of primary teachers in West Bengal has, meanwhile, urged the chief minister to reconsider the decision to have a 45-day summer vacation.
The long summer break will affect the school-going habit of students who had suffered a setback during two years of the COVID-19 pandemic when in-person classes could not be held, the association claimed.
The Bengal Primary Teachers Association has pointed out that neibhbouring Odisha has announced only a five-day break for the heatwave. The Met office has forecast rains in the first week of May in southern parts of the state and north Bengal has been experiencing rain and thunderstorm regularly for the past 15 days, it said.