In view of the changing weather conditions from coming days the authorities must make the heating arrangements available in schools for the children. The arrangements must be kept available in classrooms till the closure of schools for winter vacations.
The important requirement of protecting the children in schools from cold is almost ignored every year. Neither the authorities in government schools nor in private schools bother to address this problem.
It should not become a permanent practice. This trend has to be changed. Because of the cold, the kids fall ill and miss the classes. There should be no compromise on their health and studies. Make heating arrangements available whenever and wherever necessary.
The authorities on Monday announced change in school timings from November. The change in school timings at this time of the year is a routine matter. More important is safeguarding the school children from the cold. Meteorological department has forecast rain and snowfall in first week of November.
Subsequently, there will be drop in day and night temperatures. The school education authorities have already made their intentions clear to keep schools open in December also so that there is no loss of classwork. According to them the class work suffered badly because of the closure of schools due to COVID-19, during last few years .
The online classes could not become and cannot become an alternative to off-line classes. The authorities said that as long as the weather conditions permit they would keep the schools open in December also this year. The government has already switched over to March-April (annual examination) session from the November-December session.
The change of session had generated a lot of debate, some supporting it and some opposing it. The government said they did so for a Uniform Academic Calendar. While the change of academic session has become a reality, it is time to focus now on other school related issues. There is nothing wrong in keeping the schools open as long as weather permits.
But till that time, the small children must not become the victims of intense cold. Both the government and private schools must keep heating arrangements available for the kids. This year, due to early snowfall in upper reaches, early cold conditions also made their entry in Kashmir.
The weather conditions will change further in first week of next month due to rain and snow. The immediate requirement is to pay attention towards the school children amid increasing cold, and provide them necessary heating arrangements in classrooms.