The state government’s U-turn on its previous decision— schools to be closed amid scorching heat from May 15, and online classes be resumed till end of the month— has garnered mixed responses from teachers and parents.
Now, the state education department has asked the schools to continue with the offline classes till May 31, citing the demands and suggestions of teachers, students and parents.
State education minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer said all the government, government-aided and private schools would remain closed for summer holidays from June 1 to June 30.
The minister, however, has asked schools to continue with the same school timings. The primary schools will function from 7 am to 11 am, and middle, high and senior secondary schools from 7am to 12:30 pm.
While, a few teachers have been demanding online mode for Classes 5–8, citing hot weather, others have welcomed the decision contending that students would have struggled during online classes due to lack of basic resources, including internet and smart phones at home, and that they have already suffered a huge academic loss amid Covid.
“The temperature has risen to an all-time high and thus, it is not a fair decision to continue with the physical classes for students till Class 8. They should be permitted to stay at home,” a teacher in GHS said.
A principal in a Government Senior Secondary School, however, said teachers are not available in schools as they are busy with the exam duties.
“A lot of pending non-academic work in schools could have been completed during this period. The government should have called teachers to schools, but exempted students from visiting schools in boiling weather,” a principal said.
Faces flack on social media
The education department has faced flack on Twitter for revoking its decision.
“If anything happens to the students who go to the schools by riding cycles, who would be responsible for their health?” Vivek Verma, a Twitter user, questioned, tagging the state chief minister and education minister.
Meanwhile, even after 45 days into the new academic session, students in government schools are awaiting their complete set of textbooks. According to the teachers, main textbooks are yet to be received.
A headmaster said, “If schools would have been closed, how would we have delivered the books to students? We have received half of the textbooks, but still students are awaiting the complete set of textbooks. These books should have been received in the schools at the beginning of the session.”