The issue regarding when to close schools for winter vacations this year should not be made a point of prestige.
The authorities must be keeping the schools open in the interest of students, but the increasing cold due to changing weather conditions must also be taken into consideration.
More particularly when the schools do not have any heating arrangements in the classrooms.
The authorities say that they want to keep the schools open for more time, as long as the weather conditions permit. If they want to do so they will have to make necessary arrangements in the schools for that.
First and foremost thing is providing heating arrangements. Such arrangements need to be done on priority and not in a phased manner as is being said. If the authorities would do it in a phased manner, then those children without this facility would continue to suffer.
Even parents and others have been making such a demand, and it is a genuine demand. Some parents do not also favour what they call unnecessary continuation of schools in increasing cold. But senior officials in the school education department say that keeping schools open this time for more time has become imperative.
According to them the classwork in schools is for remedial teachings as the students had developed learning gaps over the last two years. The gaps had developed because of the prolonged closure of schools due to COVID-19, they said.
Since the academic session in was shifted this year, the closure of schools for winter vacations became a tricky question. The annual examination of the students will be held in March-April next year instead of October-November this year because of the change in session.
Various stakeholders had opposed the change in session for various reasons.
But the government went ahead with its plan and changed the session. It said that this was done to streamline the academic calendar in schools with the rest of the country and go for a union academic calendar.
Change in the session gave enough time to school education department to go for remedial classes and they want to continue with it for some more time. It is to be seen how long weather conditions will permit them to do so.
Early winter conditions have already set in Kashmir with snowfall in upper reaches and rains in plain areas a number of times this season. This has led to decrease in day and night temperatures and early arrival of cold.
Under these conditions taking a decision on winter vacations should not be made a point of prestige. A decision should be taken and school children not made to suffer.