Teachers and school owners in Jharkhand are anxious as the state government is yet to announce the closure of schools or the extension of summer vacation even as the Met office has issued heat wave alerts for several parts of the state with no sign of rain in the next few days.
While the government schools have already opened in the state a few days back, most of the private English medium schools are scheduled to open on Monday.
However, the teachers have demanded that either the schools should be closed or at least the timing should be changed in view of the scorching summer heat.
“We have held several rounds of talks with Jharkhand education secretary K. Ravikumar regarding the problems faced by students, especially primary and middle-level students, in the harsh weather condition and appealed to him to close the schools till the onset of the monsoon. But no decision has been taken so far and children have to bear the searing heat,” said Ram Murti Thakur, general secretary of Akhil Jharkhand Prathmik Sikshak Sangh.
Another section of government school teachers has written to the Ranchi deputy commissioner Rahul Kumar to change the school timings.
Akhil Jharkhand Prathmik Sikshak Sangh spokesperson Nasim Ahmed said: “As of now, the school timing is 6.45am to 1pm with students having to return home in the afternoon. On June 3, we requested the Ranchi deputy commissioner to order a change in the timing and make it between 6.30am and 11.30am. However, no action has been taken so far.”
The Private Schools and Children Welfare Association (PSACWA), Jharkhand chapter, has also decided to apprise chief minister Hemant Soren about the health hazard to students in the wake of schools reopening on Monday during the heatwave.
“Since the chief minister is looking after the education department (after the demise of Jagarnath Mahato), we will meet him on Friday and apprise him about the health hazard to the students and the teachers if we open schools amid heatwave conditions. We will request that the school vacations be extended for a few days till the onset of the monsoon. We understand that there is pressure to complete the academic syllabus but that should not happen at the cost of students’ health,” said PSACWA Jharkhand president Alok Dubey.
Ranchi Met office has issued a heatwave for Ranchi and other parts.
“Any major change in the maximum temperature is unlikely for at least the next five days. The weather will be mainly dry,” said Ranchi Meteorological Centre in-charge Abhishek Anand.
“Eastern and central parts of the state might experience a heatwave on Thursday, while it may extend to north-east and southern Jharkhand on Friday,” a bulletin issued by the Met centre on Thursday reads.
Ranchi recorded a maximum temperature of 39.8 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, 4.1 notches above the normal.