Amidst swine flu scare and forecast of heavy rain/snow early next week, authorities on Saturday extended the ongoing winter vacation in schools falling under the Kashmir division and the winter zones of Jammu by another week.
"The winter vacation is extended up to March 7 in all government educational institutions and recognised private schools up to higher secondary level, falling in Kashmir and the winter zones of Jammu division," a government order said.
However, the order said the examination for class 12th would be held as per schedule. The schools are now scheduled to reopen on March 9.
Though no official reason was given for the latest extension in the winter vacation, there have been demands from various quarters, especially concerned parents, for extension in the vacation due to swine flu which had claimed six lives and nearly 200 people were found to be infected with the H1N1 virus.
Director school education Showkat Ahmad Beigh while announcing the vacations said that the weather conditions are not favourable in Kashmir.
The local meteorological department has also warned of widespread rain or snow on March 2, the day when the schools were earlier scheduled to open after the long winter break.
The winter break had started on November 24 last year for all students till eighth standard and from December 8 for those studying in standard nine to 12 and were initially scheduled to reopen on February 23.
However, the government announced extension in the vacation last week following inclement weather prediction in the region.
Meanwhile, there is good news on swine flu front as no new case has been diagnosed in last 24 hours. The number of positive cases remain around 181. However, nine patients are admitted in the isolation ward of the SKIMS.
In a press release, the SKIMS said two patients were discharged after laboratory report.