Bihar: Over 100 students faint due to heat; schools closed till June 8 | Education - Hindustan Times
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Bihar: Over 100 students faint due to heat; schools closed till June 8

By, Patna
May 29, 2024 07:56 PM IST

More than 100 students, including teachers, fainted due to intense heatwave conditions during classes and assembly prayers in various schools across the state.

More than 100 students, including some teachers, fainted due to intense heatwave conditions during classes and assembly prayers at separate schools in different districts of the state, as the government schools reopened on May 16 after summer vacation. The matter has taken heavy political overtones.

Bihar: Over 100 students faint due to heat; schools closed till June 8
Bihar: Over 100 students faint due to heat; schools closed till June 8

Despite Governor’s direction to extend the vacation in view of reports of difficulties to students, teachers and parents, the government schools, which are mostly devoid of even badic facilities and don’t even have adequate space to accommodate all the students enrolled, have been functioning, though the private schools are mostly closed.

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The reports of students and teachers fainting have come from Aurangabad, Motihari, Siwan, Sheohar, Patna, Begusarai, Munger, Jamui, Banka--on Wednesday. The incidents have sparked widespread concern and criticism of the state government’s handling of the crisis.

The temperature in most of the cities of Bihar has crossed 45 degrees while it has reached 48 degrees Celsius in the Aurangabad district. According to IMD bulleitin, 17 out of 38 districts reported above 40 degrees celsius temperature.

"Severe heatwave condition is expected to prevail in south Bihar including Gaya, Buxar, Nawada, Rohtas and Aurangabad today and tomorrow. 'Orange' alert is issued in these districts. From Friday, there will be some relief as the temperature will slightly dip but humidity will remain high," said IMD scientist Ashish Kumar to ANI on heatwave conditions.

“Keeping the life safe safe should be the first concern. The schools run for the students and the teachers are the main component. The s schools should not be used by officers to prepare their report card. In the extreme heat wave, this is impractical,” said former MP and teachers’ association president Shatrughan Prasad Singh.

Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav lambasted the government, saying, "There is no government and democracy in Bihar but only bureaucracy. The CM is so weak that no one listens to him, even regarding the school timings. The temperature is 47 degrees, there is heatwave, but the officers are issuing orders from their air-conditioned chambers, sparing not even little children. The infrastructure of schools in Bihar is not hidden from anyone... But, there is nothing in the CM's hands."

LJP-R chief Chirag Paswan also drew the attention of the CM and the government towards the torture of students in extreme heat wave. “The students are fainting but the officers seem unconcerned, issuing arbitrary orders. This is nothing less than torture and the government should immediately close schools and the officer should be made to listen,” he added.

Reports from Sheikhpura said as many as 12 students of separate schools fainted due to the heatwave at High school located at Mankol village under Ariari block. As school started, seven of the girl students in the school fell unconscious during morning prayer. Two students have been taken to Sadar Hospital and are in serious condition.

"The students fainted when the assembly prayers were going on, due to extreme heat. We tried to provide first aid. Students are facing a lot of difficulties due to rising temperature," said Suresh Prasad, headmaster of Middle School

"The students admitted here are stable now," said Dr Rajnikanth Kumar of the Sadar Hospital, adding that students should always be hydrated in this extreme weather condition and avoid moving out.

In Patna rural areas, the health of six female students deteriorated in the Kurmichak middle school of Ghoswari block. The treatment of one of the students is going on. Dr Nawal Kishore Baitha of Ghoswari primary health centre said that remaining students were released after treatment.

In Begusarai also, more than 41 students of Matihani middle school, AN High school (Matihani), Vivekanand Public school (Balia), Higher secondary school (Mohanpur) suddenly fainted. In the unconscious state, the students were picked up from the place and admitted to Matihani PHC and referral hospital for treatment where all the students are undergoing treatment. "Due to heatwave students were fell ill and all the students out of danger," said Begusarai DM Raushan Kushwaha, adding that he directed all BEOs to arrange firs aid kit in the school premises.

Hearing about the incident, the parents of the children reached the school and pleaded with the school authorities to close the institutions.

In Bihar, poor infrastructure I. Schools has been highlighted in various reports, including the annual status of education report. Many schools don’t have functional fans or ventilated rooms.

“Even if the classes register half attendance, they are crammed for space. Imagine what would happen if there is pre-fab structure used for classrooms. We had heard about plan to build pre-fab structure in view of shortage of space. That would turn fatal, as the classrooms have already become gas chambers. Officers sit in air-conditioned rooms and cars, not teachers and children of the poor,” said a teacher who did not want to be quoted.

Some of the students in Aurangabad demanded that air-condition be installed in the classrooms as copies and books are usually used as hand fans in this heat. The fan cannot cover the entire entire class even if electricity is there,” they added.

The children demanded the government install AC. Fans are running in the classrooms of the school but the children are not able to study and are seen using books and copies as fans. The children are demanding from KK Pathak that it is not possible to study in such heat, so either install AC or close the school.

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