The decision of the Jharkhand school education and literacy department to close down schools for just three days has surprised not only private school owners and teachers but also the Met officials in Ranchi.
“It is quite surprising. At least they (the state education and literacy department) could have sent us an email asking for a detailed day-to-day weather forecast. According to the weather forecast on Monday, heatwave conditions will continue in Jharkhand at least for the next five days. The onset of the monsoon is expected between June 18 and 20. As of now, there is no chance of pre-monsoon showers too for the next few days,” said Ranchi Met Centre in-charge Abhishek Anand.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), heatwave conditions are very likely to continue in isolated pockets of Bihar, Jharkhand and coastal Andhra Pradesh during the next five days.
On Sunday evening, Jharkhand education and literacy department secretary K. Ravikumar issued an order announcing the shutting down of all schools (private and state-owned) for three days from June 12 in the wake of heatwave conditions prevailing in the state, which was shared by the state public relation department around 5pm.
The order states that keeping in view the extreme heat and heatwave conditions in the state, all categories of government, non-government aided/ non-aided (including minority) and all private schools operating in the state will remain closed from June 12 to June 14.
The weather department said that the situation might remain the same for at least the next five days and heatwave alerts have been issued for parts of the state till June 15.
The maximum temperature is hovering between 39 and 44 degrees Celsius across the state. “There is a possibility of light rain, mainly in eastern parts of the state. But it would hardly help in bringing down the temperature,” said Anand.
Akhil Jharkhand Prathmik Sikshak Sangh spokesperson Nasim Ahmed said: “We welcome the government’s decision of closing schools till Wednesday. At least it gave a temporary respite to the students who used to return home in scorching afternoon heat. But what will happen on June 15?”
The Private Schools and Children Welfare Association (PSCWA), Jharkhand chapter, also welcomed the decision of the government and termed it as taken because of pressure exerted by chief minister Hemant Soren.
“The decision was taken after we apprised the chief minister of the gravity of the situation. However, what happens after Wednesday? We had voluntarily asked all private schools to close the schools for children till June 18,” said Alok Dubey, state president of PSCWA.