Bengal govt schools extend summer vacation due to extreme heat
The West Bengal government on Monday extended the summer vacation in state-run and state-aided schools for another 10 days till June 26 in view of extreme heatwave conditions.
Principal Secretary (Education) Manish Jain said in a notification that the decision was taken keeping in mind the safety of students.
"With regard to declaring summer vacation in the schools due to extreme heat wave conditions, as reports of a few death cases due to heat and humidity have been received, the competent authority has decided to extend the summer vacation...." the government release said.
The notice was issued to the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education and the West Bengal Board of Primary Education.
The summer vacation in schools had already been extended from mid-April, owing to the hot and humid conditions.
The notice comes a day after the death of three elderly pilgrims during a religious function at Panihati due to heat.
Schools in the hilly areas of Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts are exempt from the advisory.
The West Bengal school education department had earlier issued a letter to the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) and the West Bengal Board of Primary Education (WBBPE), advising them to declare early summer vacation from May 2 to June 15 in view of the then prevailing heatwave condition in the state.
Private schools in the state that had been continuing with offline classes after the heatwave subsided declared an early summer vacation from May 9 after being urged by the school education department to suspend classes.
Teachers have been worried that the long summer break will affect the school-going habit of students who had suffered a setback during two years of the COVID-19 pandemic when in-person classes could not be held.
Monsoon has arrived in north Bengal but is yet to reach Calcutta and other parts of south Bengal. The maximum temperature has been hovering around 35°C on most days.