The Haryana government’s decision to shut all schools in the state till January 31 because of the “cold wave” has not gone down well with parents and students in Gurgaon.
According to them, the direction will affect the academic calendar of nearly 200 schools in the city, thereby “pressurising students” as pre-board and practical exams have been scheduled for higher classes.
Some schools have asked their students to appear for the tests scheduled during the holidays. “A number of schools are conducting practical and pre-board examinations for higher classes. Even though we have declared holidays, students will have to come to school and take the tests. They will be called only on the day of the examination and can leave soon after the test,” Rupa Chakravarty, principal of Suncity World School in Sector 53, said.
On Republic Day, Haryana education minister Ram Bilas Sharma had directed all schools in the state to remain shut till January 31 as a cold wave had swept parts of north India. Those flouting the orders would face action, he had said.
Earlier this week, dense fog had reduced visibility in Gurgaon making commuting difficult in the morning hours.
Schools in Gurgaon, however, received official communication from the additional chief secretary of the Haryana education department only on Wednesday, after which, they suspended classes for three days beginning Thursday.
“It has been decided to close all government, private and government-aided schools from January 27 to January 31 due to dense fog and cold weather,” the order read.
“An order was issued to us by the school education department, after which we decided to declare holiday for students from Thursday to Saturday. We held classes on Wednesday as we did not receive a notice on Tuesday,” Peeya Sharma, principal of Ryan International School, said.
Gurgaon has over 200 private schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), International Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and International Baccalaureate (IB). The schools will reopen on February 1.
Parents have also questioned the government’s decision, saying the temperature has risen over the last two days.
“The holidays do not have any relevance anymore as the cold and chilly days are gone and the temperature is rising. The children have already had too many holidays and, for working parents, it gets difficult to leave them alone at home,” said Rajesh, a parent.
Students, too, don’t seem excited about the additional holidays. They said the final examinations are neigh and the holidays would only increase the pressure.
“A major portion of the syllabus is yet to be covered. The extra holidays are going to pressure students as schools will now conduct classes on Saturdays to complete syllabus,” said Karan, a Class 11 student.
Despite several attempts, Sharma was not available for comment on Thursday.