Keeping in view the prevailing weather conditions, several private schools in the city have started their winter break from January 1, but the winter break in government schools is already over and there will be no extension in it.
Talking to Hindustan Times, education minister Sikander Singh Maluka said, "The winter break in government schools was from December 25 to 31, so there will no holidays for students in January. We have received around 25 letters from parents saying the holidays should not be extended as that would affect studies. So all government schools will remain open as usual. Moreover, only two months are left for the final exams. In case we announce holidays now, how will the teachers complete the syllabus, and then there will be no time left for revision."
Maluka said, "We changed the school timings in November; the school starts at 9am and closes at 3.20pm."
Anoop Kumar Passi, principal, Government Senior Secondary School, Isewal, said, "We should have a positive attitude and make students capable of working under any weather conditions. There should be no more holidays as it would affect studies."
A government primary school in-charge said, "The cold weather conditions are making it difficult for students to reach school. As the schools reopened on January 1, the attendance is thin. Keeping in view the cold weather, the authorities must suspend classes for primary sections in government schools. The schools running in double shift start at 7.30am and students leave home for school at 6.30am, which is pretty early."
Amit Arora, a parent said, "My son, who studies at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Punjab Agricultural University, which runs a double shift, leaves home at 6.30am. The school should start a little later as it is cold in the morning. I think the decision to have no more holidays for is the right one or it would affect studies."
Gurbir Singh, a teacher at Government Senior Secondary School, Alamgir, said, "The decision to have no more holidays is right, but they must suspend classes for the primary wing keeping in view the cold weather conditions."
The principal of a government school at SAS Nagar said, "Biting cold due to the dipping temperature and fog makes it difficult even for adults to work, so how can we expect small children to come to school in such conditions. The government should consider extending the holidays at least for the primary section."
A government schoolteacher and a resident of SAS Nagar said, "The attendance in some classes is thin, owing to the severe cold. The chilly winds and the fog are making it difficult for students to come to school, so the government should consider extending the holidays.
Though this would put pressure on students as well as teachers to complete the syllabus, with the cold wave prevailing, we cannot force parents to send their children to school, which could lead to the children falling sick."