Srinagar Nov 20: Amid demands, the School Education Department (SED) is considering early announcement of winter vacations for schools across Kashmir as the cold wave has intensified in Kashmir. Talking to Greater Kashmir, Principal Secretary SED, Alok Kumar said that the winter vacation would be announced shortly.
“It is being considered. The vacation for primary and lower classes is being considered. The order will be issued shortly,” Kumar said. The decision is being considered amid the persistent demand for early announcement of winter vacation for lower classes owing to the abrupt onset of cold weather in Kashmir.
The prevailing cold weather has made existing school problems worse as children are experiencing discomfort due to inadequate infrastructure in schools.
On Monday, fog engulfed several areas across Kashmir and cold conditions prevailed in J&K as Srinagar recorded the season’s lowest temperature as well.
The temperature was recorded below normal in other districts as well, raising concerns among the parents and other stakeholders alike.
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“Bad weather doesn’t only mean rain and snowfall. It includes cold, when the temperature dips to minus, and visibility becomes very less due to fog,” said Mir Farhat, a netizen.
He said that the department should consider these changes in weather. “It is difficult for kids to go to school in extreme cold and fog,” he said.
The Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) on Monday also urged the government to announce the winter vacation for schools, especially for lower classes on a priority basis, owing to minus temperatures and foggy conditions.
The request was put forth based on the representations received from scores of parents and schools.
“For a four-year-old kid, it is extremely difficult to get up early and get ready for school during this weather. We are not a developed nation where houses, buses, and schools are all centrally heated. We have to adjust according to the weather,” President PSAJK Ghulam Nabi Var told Greater Kashmir.
He said that the exposure to extreme foggy conditions and minus temperatures could have a negative impact on the health of children.
“At schools too, these children are not able to focus, thus the entire exercise of classes goes to waste,” Var said and urged the government to announce winter vacation for lower classes to safeguard the health of children.
The parents also raised concerns over the health issues of their kids who have to leave early to board the buses and get exposed to extreme cold.
“Most of the students have developed respiratory infections due to cold weather. The schools (government) also have a dearth of infrastructure which aggravates the situation,” said a parent from Srinagar.
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Kashmir is witnessing a significant surge in flu cases, with hospitals and medical facilities reporting an increase in patients seeking treatment.
The move has left the parents perplexed as no precautionary measures are being taken at schools to safeguard the school children.