January is turning out to be one long vacation for Delhi’s schoolchildren. Days after classes resumed after a 15-day shutdown brought on by the odd-even car plan, the government has declared a three-day break starting Thursday for primary children due to the intense cold.
For higher classes, the government’s directorate of education (DoE) on Wednesday announced relaxed timings. It also advised private schools to follow these timings and suspend primary classes (KG to 5). Most private schools, though, were undecided till late Wednesday.
Following the DoE circular, the north and east municipal corporations that run close to 700 schools announced holidays for nursery to primary classes till Saturday.
“Morning and general shift government/ government-aided schools will start an hour later while evening shift government/ government-aided schools will close an hour before the usual time,” the circular said.
“All private and unaided schools are advised to amend their timings accordingly and to shut primary classes,” said DOE director Padmini Singla.
The mercury on Wednesday plunged five below normal to 15.1ºC, making it the season’s coldest day. DOE officials said the forecast predicted colder days ahead.
All schools in the Capital were shut from January 1 to 15 for the trial run of the odd-even formula, re-opening only on Saturday. On Tuesday, the Noida and Ghaziabad administration ordered the closure of schools for two days in the wake of the cold wave.
Some private schools in Delhi, though, aren’t happy with the government’s decision and are likely to remain open. “The government cannot shut schools at the drop of a hat. It hampers their functioning. Schools run even in extreme weather conditions in hill stations,” said Ameeta Mulla Wattal, principal of Springdales School.
Some teachers pointed out that exams were around the corner.
Bal Bharti School on Ganga Ram Road has decided to get feedback from parents and students before declaring a holiday, said its principal LV Sehgal.
Ahlcon International School principal Ashok Pandey said, “The management will take a call tomorrow.”