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More schools bring forward start of academic session anticipating early summer

Decision prompted by anticipation of extended summer break

Jhinuk Mazumdar | Published 01.04.24, 06:42 AM
Students of Hare School playing football

Students of Hare School playing football

Several schools have brought forward the start of the academic session in anticipation of an early summer which might force them to close early.

Principals said the changes in the academic calendar have to be made so they get the required number of working days.

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St James’ School, Calcutta Girls’ High School, Frank Anthony Public School and Loreto Day School Elliot Road are some of the institutions that are starting their new session in the first couple of days in April.

Usually, the session in these schools starts a week later.

“We have to work according to the weather, otherwise it would be difficult to complete 200 working days in a year,” said Terence Ireland, the principal of St James’ School.

Three more schools — The Heritage School, St Augustine’s Day School Shyamnagar and Delhi Public School New Town — started the new academic session in the third week of March.

The Telegraph reported about the decisions by The Heritage School and St Augustine’s Day School Shyamnagar.

Over the past two years, schools had to start summer recess early or switch to online classes because of a government directive following heat wave-like conditions.

“We have made some changes to our calendar much in advance. We have increased our summer break to six weeks because in the past, we had to close early because of heat,” said Ian Myers, principal of Frank Anthony Public School.

The school has shortened its winter break. “We will give them off for 10-12 days during the festive season in December and start by the first week of January. Previously, we used to start (after the winter break) a week later. The weather in Kolkata is right for classes in the first week of January,” said Myers.

In the previous years, the summer break was extended at the cost of working days, the principals of several schools said.

If schools are closed, teachers find it difficult to complete the syllabus, especially in senior classes.

For Classes X and XII, schools try to complete the syllabus before December, because the pre-board exams are scheduled for December and January.

Based on Met data between 1991 and 2020, April and May are the hottest months in Kolkata.

The maximum temperature on Saturday was 35 degrees Celsius and minimum was
26.5 degrees.

A Met official ruled out chances of any immediate relief from the hot and sultry conditions.

“The maximum temperature will go up by one or two degrees in the coming few days,” said the official. “Even if there are thunderstorms, they will be localised and will not give any lasting relief.”

This newspaper reported last year that schools were contemplating changes in the academic calendar after two consecutive years of heat holiday.

Last updated on 01.04.24, 10:17 AM
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