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schools shut due to heatwave

WB: Schools, colleges, universities closed due to heatwave

April 17, 2023

Mita Mukherjee

Schools, colleges, universities across West Bengal except those in Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts in the hill areas, will remain closed for a week from April 17, because of the heatwave like conditions prevailing  in the state, chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced on 16 April.

After her announcement, two notices were sent out by the school and higher education departments which clarified that the instructions were meant for all categories of institutions, including ” autonomous, central government aided, sponsored and private schools.”

Before, the notice was issued, chief minister, Mamata Banerjee had said that several parents had told her that their wards complained of headache after returning from school in the scorching sun. She said her government did not want students to suffer heat stroke. 

Later, in the afternoon, the government issued the two notifications formally announcing the closure.

The temperature in Kolkata and several districts had been hovering around 40 degree Celsius over the past few days. Officials in the Meterological Department in Alipore in Kolkata said on Sunday that the ongoing hot spell is likely to continue for some days and the temperature could exceed 40 degree Celsius in many districts.

“The state – aided schools will be kept closed from Monday. We would also request the private institutions to keep their institutions closed for a week. I have seen on several occasions, the private schols had not complied with government instructions,” the chief minister told a Bengali news channel. 

The government had earlier announced that summer vacation in schools would start from May 2 instead of May 24 after the Meterological Department sounded a heatwave warning in several parts of the state.

” Considering the prevailing heat wave situation, competent authority has decided to close all Atonomous/State/Central Government Aided, Sponsored, Private Schools in the State of West Bengal, with effect from 17th April, 2023 for one week or until further order which ever is earlier, except for the schools in hill areas of Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts, where in existing academic schedule will continue……” the notice issued by the state school education said.

The teaching and non-teaching staff will also remain on leave as a special case during the period, a memo signed by the education secretary read.

In Bengal, private schools are mostly affiliated with the CBSE or the Council for Indian School Certificatf Examinations (CISCE). The school education department has forwarded its notice to the heads of the two Delhi- based boards along with the heads of the state primary secondary education boards. 

The notice asked schools to arrange extra clases after reopening of the institutions to make up for the loss.

In the order sent out by the higher education department, heads of  universities and colleges were asked to keep their institutions closed.

Several private schools said they will follow the government instruction and keep their campuses closed from Monday. Many of them have decided to shift to online classes till the weather condition improves.

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