Cold conditions leaves’ schools without students in higher Himachal hills

Shimla: In defiance of the cold conditions persisting though schools have opened up in accordance with the education department new academic schedules but in higher hills attendance is thin and even though there are no heating arrangements in place, authorities have not decided defer classes.

Director education OP Sharma says that even though some schools are reporting thin attendances, there has been no representation from anybody to defer school curriculums.

Passing the buck onto district administrations, he said, “District magistrates are empowered to take an appropriate decision, where ever the prevailing cold weather is coming in the way of school functioning.”

“The government will need to reconsider its decision,” says Ashwani Kumar, president of school lecturers association.

“This year government schools opened on 15th February but from next year they intend to open them from 1st February,” he claimed.

Students in higher classes are also complaining about cold conditions but for tiny tots in primary classes it is a really difficult under conditions where on needs to sit on the floor for attending school, he said.

With temperatures hovering around the freezing point in parts of Kullu-Manali valley, Kinnaur district, Narkanda and Kharapattar areas of Shimla district attendance in some schools is reported to be zero.

These days there are no students in school, said Sumedha, a teacher at an elementary school.

Winter closing schools used to open in March, said Davinder Sharma, a parent of a nine year old girl child. “As there are no heating arrangements in school, we are simply not sending her to attend classes and are waiting for warmer days to set in,” he added.

Even as there was a mild snowfall around Manali hills on Saturday, deputy commissioner Kullu, BM Nanta said, “as such no decision after deferring classes in some schools has been taken.” Given the cold conditions, the situation will be reviewed on Monday, he added.

Deputy Commissioner Shimla, Onkar Sharma said, “the administration would intervene if there is a heavy snowfall and it becomes difficult for educational institutions to function.”

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