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Education officers to keep school hours short after heat rises in Maharashtra | Pune News

PUNE: Almost every day since mid-March has been a scorcher across the state, and children attending school in this heat have become a concern for parents. But, there is some relief.

After both parents and teachers protested against prolonged school timing causing harm to students in the wake of the current heat wave, state education commissioner Suraj Mandhare said that the education officers and district collectors can take a decision on curtailing the timings based on the local situation. Mandhare said that the timings cannot be announced uniformly for the entire state as the situation is different in each region, but students’ safety should be a priority.
Mandhare said, “A few districts are facing heat waves. It is clarified that in the event of a heat wave warning issued by the IMD, the education officers could discuss with the collector or chief executive officer and take a decision at the district level to curtail school timings suitably. ”
In several parts of the state, the mercury has been consistently crossing 40 degrees celsius for more than a week. Students in rural areas walk back home in the heat.
A parent said, “Why in the first place are students called till April 30? The loss of offline studies for almost two years cannot be made up in two weeks. This is the time when the teachers are busy with corrections, re-tests, result-making, and planning for the next academic year. The condition is prevailing everywhere and decisions should be taken for the benefit of the students. ”
Parents had demanded that the education department reduce the timing ranging between three-and-a-half hours to four hours considering the heat conditions. Currently, the school timings are from 7.30am to 1pm. They wanted the classes to end by 11am so that students can go home before the temperature reaches its daily peak.
Chief executive officer of Pune zilla parishad, Ayush Prasad said, “We have already started the school from 7am and in certain hilly areas at 7.30am, and they shut down by noon. It is not possible to shift the school timings to start schools earlier . By rule, we have to start school one hour after the sunrise. We also have to ensure that the number of hours defined by the government resolution is also fulfilled. We are concerned and watching the local temperatures in various regions across the district. All arrangements for fans and water have been made. We have also ensured that the children are not out in the sun after 10am. ”

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