Heatwave Forces Early Summer Vacation In West Bengal Schools From April 22

As the scorching heat continues to grip West Bengal, the state government has decided to grant early summer vacations to students in various schools. Following a discussion on the prevailing heatwave conditions in the state, a decision was reached during a meeting held on Tuesday.

According to Education Minister Bratya Basu, starting this coming Monday, April 22, several schools across the state will commence their summer breaks. However, as of now, the education department has not issued any specific guidelines regarding this decision.

Traditionally, schools in the state used to begin their summer vacations on May 6. However, with temperatures rising steadily in southern Bengal, the situation has prompted concern. On Wednesday, temperatures soared to a record-breaking 40 degrees Celsius in 14 areas of the state, including Kolkata, prompting the Alipore Meteorological Office to issue a heatwave warning until Sunday.

Consequently, the intense heat has made it incredibly challenging for students to adhere to their daily routine of attending school. This has not only affected students but also posed difficulties for teachers and staff. Hence, the decision to advance the summer vacation period was deemed necessary.

A meeting chaired by Chief Secretary B.P. Gopalika was convened in Nabanna on Tuesday to discuss the matter of school summer vacations. Subsequently, assurances were given that summer vacations would commence from April 22 onwards.

In recent years, escalating temperatures have necessitated the advancement of summer breaks in schools due to heatwaves. However, if schools close for summer vacations on April 22, it means that academic activities will cease at least 15 days earlier than the scheduled time. There is no indication yet regarding when schools will reopen, as the heatwave may persist into the month of May.

Consequently, once schools reopen after the summer break, teachers may face pressure to cover the curriculum within a shorter timeframe. Officials have indicated that some flexibility may be provided in school schedules to accommodate this adjustment.

It's worth noting that the recent heatwave has resulted in three fatalities in the state. A woman died of heatstroke while travelling on a local bus in Bongaon-Majherhat, and another individual succumbed to heatstroke near the Purulia bus stand. These incidents prompted a teacher's organisation to request the Education Minister via email to consider granting summer vacations for schools, which ultimately led to the government's decision.

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