Summer vacations extended by two weeks in Chandigarh’s government schools
After days of lingering over a decision on whether Chandigarh government and government-aided schools would open or remain closed, the education department said on Thursday that they would remain shut during the lockdown for the next two weeks.
The UT administration had earlier announced the summer breaks from April 14 to May 14, during the curfew imposed in the wake of the Covid epidemic. However, written communication to various stakeholders from the office of district education officer says government and government aided schools will remain closed till further orders.
The notification comes just a day before schools were supposed to re-open. The move affects over a lakh students studying in 123 government schools and 8 aided schools.
Rubinderjit Singh Brar, director of school education, Chandigarh, said, “Schools will remain open during winter vacations and even on Saturdays to make up the loss of instructional hours / teaching days. We can review our decision of vacations anytime as per guidelines of ministry of home affairs and the local situation.”
HS Mamik, president of the Independent Schools Association (ISA), said that some schools have suggested they be allowed to open partially, or at least their staff should be allowed to continue on odd-even rotation basis. “Thus with 50% staff attending school on alternate days, social distancing will be easier and material for online learning can also be created easily,” he said, adding that it would also help then understand what preparations are needed before schools are opened.
Speaking of this, Brar said, “We have authorised the DEO to give permission to private schools to open partially, subject to certain conditions on a case to case basis.”
In most private schools, summer holidays get over by May 17, with students being asked to report the next day. The association of schools said that online classes will run for students till they get clear instructions from the education department on the future course of action.
Nitin Goyal, head of the parents body of Chandigarh students, said, “Going by the rising number of Covid infections in the city day by day, all schools must remain closed. Private schools are in a hurry to reopen because they are only eyeing the fees.”