Heat forces vacation extension
After a prolonged sultry spell, it may have got slightly better since the shower on Wednesday but schools did not take any chances.
While education minister Partha Chatterjee on Monday announced the closure of all state-run and state-funded schools till the month-end, almost all private schools in the township also announced extensions of varying durations of their summer vacations on Tuesday.
Salt Lake School in CA Block is in dire straits. “We are facing acute water shortage in the area. Buying two to three tankers full of water privately is not proving to be adequate for 2,600 kids. To add to that, there are power cuts almost daily, lasting an hour or more around midday. Children are falling sick,” said principal Sugata D’Souza.
The school had reopened on June 11. On Tuesday, they decided to close for the rest of the month. “We will resume classes on July 2,” she said.
At Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, classes took place for two days post-summer vacation after which a decision was taken to shut down for a week, till June 26. “It’s a heat wave out there. The effect can be felt even in our classes and corridors,” said principal Rekha Vaishya. Some tests were supposed to have taken place. “We will postpone them. Perhaps the Puja vacation will have to be curtailed.”
Hariyana Vidya Mandir is providing revitalising glucose drinks to its students. “We have also prohibited going outdoor in the sports period. They are doing activities in class with teachers.” The CBSE has made daily sports periods compulsory to encourage outdoor sports. A holiday has been declared for students of Lower KG to Class III till Friday.
Salt Lake Point School had reopened after summer vacation on Monday. “But ceiling fans are not enough in this heat. It is a strange weather this year. It rained in May. But in June, the weather has suddenly become unbearably hot,” said D.K. Sengupta of the school.
At Sri Aurobindo Institute of Education, classes are suspended for a week till June 26. “We had reopened on June 18 but started getting phone calls from guardians ever since the state government made the announcement on extending vacations. The class tests will be rescheduled,” said principal Debleena Bhattacharya, adding that the extended vacation was only for students, and teachers would have to report for work.
St Francis Xavier School is keeping a sharp eye on the weather. They gave the day shift off on Tuesday and both shifts off on Wednesday. “We did not announce a longer closure as rain was forecast on Thursday and Friday on the met office website as well as on weather apps,” said administrator Ajay Chopra. “If the heat spell continues, we can always take a call later and disseminate information on our social media page and through text messages,” he added on Tuesday. With the shower coming sooner than expected, the extension was not needed.
One institution that did not have to bother about the heat is The Newtown School. “We are air-conditioned,” principal Satabdi Bhattacharjee smiled.