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Kolkata schools cut hours, move online to dodge heatwave

South Point opts for online classes, Don Bosco Park Circus & St James advance dispersal schedule

Jhinuk Mazumdar | Published 27.04.22, 07:04 AM
Students write the ISC exam at The Heritage School  on Tuesday afternoon.

Students write the ISC exam at The Heritage School on Tuesday afternoon.

Picture by Sanat Kr Sinha

At least one private school in the city has decided to suspend in-person classes this week and two other schools have reduced class hours because of the heat spell.

South Point will have online classes for the next three days and Don Bosco Park Circus has brought forward the dispersal timings from Tuesday till further notice.


South City International School will hold online classes for the pre-primary section. The rest of the students will continue to attend in-person classes but they will leave for home early.

Several other schools are holding meetings to discuss if they should tweak schedules because of the weather.

St James’ School will give over by noon for Nursery till Class V, instead of 1.30pm, and by 12.15pm for the rest of the classes, instead of 1.40pm.

The changed timings will come into effect from Thursday and a formal notice will be issued to parents on Wednesday, the school said.

“In view of the extreme weather conditions, South Point has decided to cancel all scheduled in-school classes for students for the remainder of this week, till Friday. Classes will be held online... We hope the weather conditions will improve from next week to enable us to resume in-school classes from Monday,” said a note from the school.

“Online classes have shown us that we can still continue with school despite suspending in-person classes,” said South Point trustee Krishna Damani.

The school said it had received letters from parents requesting them to shift to online classes because physical classes were becoming uncomfortable for students in the heat.

There were reports of children feeling giddy and sick in several schools.

“It gets uncomfortable, especially during dispersal when children line up,” said Terence Ireland, principal, St James’.

During dispersal, parents and children get impatient waiting in the heat. Schools cannot rush through the process because it involves the children’s safety, said a teacher from another school.

“We have decided to reduce the hours out of concern for my children,” said Father Bikash Mondal, principal of Don Bosco Park Circus.

The Heritage School has decided to reduce class hours from Monday.

“Most parents are working and we have to give them sufficient time to make arrangements for the children at home,” said principal Seema Sapru.

South City International School could extend the changed timings if the heatwave-like conditions in the city continue.

St Xavier’s Collegiate School is looking into the schedule of the senior students who go home in the latter half of the day.

Several schools said they had suspended outdoor activities and asked children to remain indoors.

St Augustine’s Day School Barrackpore had arranged for online lessons for some classes because of the ICSE and ISC exams from Monday. The decision is helping now because of the heat, the school said.

Asked whether the government was considering bringing forward the summer break in government schools, education minister Bratya Basu said a decision would be taken early next week depending on the situation then.

Last updated on 27.04.22, 07:15 AM

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