The summer vacation in schools will start on May 2 as was mentioned in an order issued on April 13, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday.
An official in the education department said schools, which have been closed for a week from Monday because of the ongoing heat spell, would reopen on April 24, subject to the prevalent weather conditions.
“After that, the summer vacation in government and government-aided schools will start on May 2,” the official said. The summer break in these schools usually start in the third week of May.
The West Bengal government order advancing the start of the summer recess in government and government-aided schools to May 2 has been sent to the boards to which the private schools in the state are affiliated.
The chief minister thanked private schools for complying with the state government’s April 16 order on week-long suspension of classes from Monday because of soaring temperatures.
“Summer vacation will start on May 2. May 1 is a holiday. So summer vacation will start on May 2. In the intervening period, students will get one week (for attending classes in-person)”,the chief minister said inresponse to a question at a news conference.
The education department’s April 13 order said: “Due to heat wave and prevailing situation, it is advised to declare summer vacation in the schools under your (the primary education board and the secondary education board) administrative control with effect from 2nd May 2023 until further instructions.”
The Regional Meteorological Centre in a special bulletin issued on Monday said “heat wave condition is likely to continue over the districts of South Bengal during 17-21st April. Temperature is likely to decrease gradually from 22nd April over the districts of West Bengal”.
An official in the school education department said that since the Met office has forecast a drop in temperature, the schools will be reopened on April 24.
The chief minister said her decision on the week-long closure of schools was “proper”.
“It is a proper decision. Some schools are holding online classes during this period. Everybody is habituated to this. I will thank all schools, especially the private schools and the central schools,” Mamata said.
The chief minister appealed to all not to step out from noon to 4pm.
“Please stay indoors. Take care. The heat is unusually high,” she said. When asked why the order on summer vacation does not state the duration of the vacation, a senior official of the education department said: “That would be fixed based on the prevailing weather conditions.”
Last year, too, the summer vacation in government and government-aided schools had started on May 2 because of a heat spell. The government had announced at the outset that the vacation would continue till June 15.