Amid the increasing cold and absence of heating arrangements in classrooms, the School Education Department announced winter vacations in a phased manner.
Even as the vacation has been announced, the heating arrangements must be provided both in government and private schools till the schools finally get closed for the winter break.
The mercury level goes down to sub-zero level during nights now. According to reports, Srinagar recorded coldest night of the season so far at minus 2.1 degree Celsius during the intervening night of November 26 and November 27.
The impact of freezing cold in night remains during the morning and day time also. Under these conditions the children go to schools and attend classes without any heating arrangements in the classrooms.
As per the government announcement, winter vacation for students up to 5th standard will begin from December 1 and for 6th to 8th standard students from December 12.
The winter vacation for students from 9th to 12th standard will commence from December 19. The authorities should not just think that they have announced the winter vacations and there is no need for the heating arrangements in classrooms now.
There is a need for the heating arrangements and the students must not suffer amid the cold conditions. Both the government and private schools have been almost taking for-granted the providing of heating arrangements. Most parents also demand such a facility for their school going children as they complain of cold in classrooms.
Availability of the facility is not a favour to the students. It is their right. At a time while so much is being said at official level about welfare measures for children, why this right is being ignored constantly.
While huge funds are being utilised for other purposes, why a small amount to be required for heating arrangements is becoming so problematic for the school education department and private schools.
Heating arrangements must become a permanent feature in schools and authorities must not wait first for the demands to be made for the purpose.
The heating arrangements must be in classrooms not only till the schools close for winter vacation but also for sometime if needed when the schools reopen in March.
Sometimes during the early days of March there is cold due to rains or even snow. So heating arrangements are also needed at that time.