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regular-article-logo Sunday, 16 June 2024

Summer break to end on June 10: Vacation extended to ready schools after polls

The schools will reopen after it is ensured that 'suitable infrastructure is in place, with the appropriate assistance of the district magistrates / commissioner, Kolkata Municipal Corporation, as the case may be'

Subhankar Chowdhury Calcutta Published 28.05.24, 06:59 AM
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The school education department has said that the reopening of government and government-aided schools after the summer break on June 3 will be “subject to the directions by the concerned election authorities”.

The schools will reopen after it is ensured that “suitable infrastructure is in place, with the appropriate assistance of the district magistrates / commissioner, Kolkata Municipal Corporation, as the case may be”.

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The notice addressed to the state’s primary and secondary education boards says: “It is expected that the above arrangement will be completed by 09/06/2024.”

“By June 9, the suitable infrastructure has to be put in place. The state-aided/sponsored/ government schools may be opened for students from 10/06/2024 onwards,” the notice says.

An education department official said their April 18 notice said schools would reopen on June 3. The schedule cannot be adhered to because many institutions will be used as vote-counting venues on June 4.

“Schools will need time to put their infrastructure in place after the counting. Besides, a section of schools in Calcutta and the adjoining districts will be used as polling booths during the last leg of polls scheduled on June 1. These schools, too, will need time to restore the infrastructure,” the official said.

The summer vacation started on April 22.

The notice asks teachers and school staff to resume school on June 3 unless they have election duty to attend to.

“Teaching and non-teaching staff of all state-aided/ sponsored/ government schools be advised to attend schools from 3rd June, subject to the directions by the concerned election authorities as the case may be due to ongoing Parliament general elections 2024, to ensure the suitable school infrastructure is in place,” says the notice signed by the school education secretary.

The decision to extend the summer vacation by six more days has triggered protests among some teachers.

Swapan Mandal of the Bengal Teachers’ and Employees Association said: “Of the 15,000-odd schools, only 300 will be used for counting. The central paramilitary forces will be deployed in these schools. The department could have asked the remaining schools to start classes immediately.”

Schools in three north Bengal districts — Cooch Behar, Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri — had additional holidays from April 16 to April 20 because of the polls there on April 19.

“So there are instances of schools being segregated by the department based on their involvement in the polling assignments. This could be done while deciding on the reopening of schools after the summer vacation. The schools that would serve as counting venues could be asked to hold additional classes from June 10 to make up for the loss of class days,” said Saudipta Das, general secretary, Collegium of Assistant Headmasters and Assistant Headmistresses.

“Schools will find it difficult to complete their syllabuses,” he added.

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