Srinagar, July 1: Amid continuous heat wave, the Jammu and Kashmir School Education Department (SED) on Friday announced summer vacations for all government and recognised private schools up to higher secondary level from July 4 to July 14.
The order to this effect was issued by Principal Secretary SED Bishwajit Kumar Singh after seeking a proposal from the concerned Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK).
"It is hereby ordered that all the government educational institutions and recognised private schools up to higher secondary level functioning in Kashmir division and winter zone of Jammu division shall observe summer vacation w.e.f July 4 to 14 of 2022," the SED order reads.
Notably the summer vacation was announced in view of the prevailing heat wave in Kashmir as the day temperature crossed 34 degree Celsius making it difficult for the students to bear the scorching heat.
"The temperature has crossed 34 while normally at 32 degree or 33 degree it would rain here but that did not happen so there was a need to propose the summer vacation for schools and which was approved by the government as well," Director School education Kashmir (DSEK) Tasaduq Hussain Mir told Greater Kashmir.
However, the government decision to announce summer vacation for schools in Kashmir got mixed response with some stakeholders saying change in school timing would have replaced the vacation. On the other hand, some believe that summer vacation was a much needed break for the students.
"The students resumed their schools after a gap of over two years and schools should continue to run with a change in time which would help to fill the learning gaps of the students," said a teacher.
However, another teacher said the heat wave was scorching due to which students were feeling uneasy.
"And Education has its own gestation period, it is a sustainable process, it is not something like we can bridge the gap in double shifts. So let children have a breathing period so that they get refreshed and restart again after Eid," the teacher said.
Meanwhile, most of the private schools where exams are going on and some have lined up in coming days suggested that the vacation could have been announced from the second week of July.
"By that time exams will finish and students will have a break with ease. But the sudden announcement of vacation will keep the exams pending," said one of the school proprietors.
"As if heat wave will be over after July 14," he said.
Another private school owner said they were not taken on board before announcing vacations. "During past years, the government would intimate private schools to get feedback about ongoing exams and allow them to finish the ongoing exams, if any, before closing for summer vacations. The announcement was sudden," he said.
Principal Secretary SED, Bishwajit Kumar Singh refused to buy the argument of private schools regarding deferment of summer vacation saying that the health of students was more important than exams.
"The private schools can keep their exams on hold and continue it after summer vacations are over. The health of a child is important," he said.