With the rise in unscheduled power cuts, government schools in the district have started using generators to ensure students do not face inconvenience in the sultry weather.
However, with the power cuts running into hours, schools are being forced to shell out up to Rs 1,500 every day according to the strength of students.
According to reports, unscheduled power cuts of three to four hours daily are being imposed on government schools in different blocks, including Jagraon, Samrala, Dehlon, Dakha and Ludhiana West.
Consequently, schools are using the Parent Teacher Fund (PTA) and amalgamated fund to arrange generators.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Anoop Kumar Passi, principal, Government Senior Secondary School, Isewal, said, “The school is experiencing power cuts of up to three hours daily, due to which we are using generators, which cost us Rs 600 per day. However, during power cuts, computer classes cannot be conducted. During lunch, we serve the mid-day meal in a nearby gurdwara, as it is very hot these days and it is difficult for students to sit on the floor.”
Echoing Passi's concerns, Sanjeev Saddi, vice-principal, Government Senior Secondary School (Girls), Samrala, demanded that the higher authorities change the school timings till May 31, as the mercury had been soaring, and the unscheduled power cuts were making matters worse.
“We are facing power cuts of up to four hours daily. But, we ensure that the fans do not stop working for even five minutes, so that students' concentration is not affected. However, this is leading to a daily expenditure of Rs 500,” Saddi said.
The situation in other government schools of other blocks is also the same.
Sanjeev Thapar, principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, PAU, said, “Our school strength is around 2,700. As the school runs in double shifts, the power cuts ranging from two to three hours have been a huge inconvenience. We are relying on PTA funds for the Rs 1,500 that we have to spend on the generator daily.”
Voicing similar concerns, Balwinder Singh, principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Dehlon, said, “There was no power supply for the whole day on May 18, forcing us to rely on a generator. We are worried that with the arrival of paddy season, the situation will be worse.”
No power back up facility in government primary schools
While some government schools are shelling out for generators, none of government primary schools in the district have any power back up facility in absence of adequate funds. Barjinder Singh, incharge of Government Primary School, Dullay, said, “Students have to study without power for four to five hours daily in searing heat.”
Private schools change timings
With the mercury soaring high, a few private schools have changed their timings. Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar, has changed the school timings from 8 am to 2pm. The new timings are 7:30 am to 1 pm. Principal Mona Singh said, “If temperature increases further, we might reduce the school time again next week.”
Nankana Sahib Public School, Gill Road, has also changed the timings for the kindergarten students from 7:50 am to 11:15 am.
However, formative assessments are going on in other private schools, and students are visiting the school from 8 am to 11 am.
Meanwhile, while some private schools will close for summer vacation from May 25, others and government schools will start the vacation from June 1 till June 30.