Srinagar: With the onset of winter and a dip in temperature, the Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) has urged the government to announce winter vacations for schools, especially for the lower classes.
The body of private schools in the Kashmir Valley has urged the authorities to take up the issue on a priority basis as the region witnessed sub-zero temperatures and increased foggy conditions over the past week.
The Association added that they have been receiving representations from a number of parents and even schools about the extreme weather conditions affecting children.
“For a 4-year-old kid, getting up early and getting ready for school during this weather is extremely difficult. We are not a developed nation where houses, buses, and schools are all centrally heated. We have to adjust according to the weather,” commented a PSAJK spokesperson.
He added that it is also difficult for parents to prepare their wards for school, especially during the morning hours.
On Monday, parts of Kashmir, including Srinagar city, witnessed severe fog affecting normal life in the region. Cold conditions continued to prevail amid thick fog as Srinagar logged the season’s lowest temperature on Monday.
According to the meteorological department, a fall of nearly 2 degrees Celsius was recorded in Srinagar, with temperatures falling below 0.8 degrees Celsius against 0.9 degrees Celsius the previous night.
The Association has argued that exposure to extreme foggy conditions and sub-zero temperatures can have a negative impact on the health of children. The students are also not able to focus in the classrooms.
“In order to safeguard the health of our children, we ask the government to announce the winter vacations as early as possible,” stated the body.
The PSAJK also reiterated its demand for re-adjusting the academic calendar in accordance with the local temperature. “We have time and again conveyed to the government that the March session is not feasible for Kashmir. Our schools usually complete their syllabus up to November. We have harsh winters, and during the March session, these months are simply lost, as students don’t know whether to revise old lessons or use the time to study the syllabus of new classes,” he said.
The challenges of the residents have compounded this winter due to increased or unscheduled power cuts that also affect the work and have created massive inconveniences in their daily lives.
Many of the political parties, trade associations, and local civil society groups have been demanding increased power supply to the region to ease the difficulties of winter. However, the crisis is attributed by the authorities to a peak demand during winter months, which faces a substantial hundreds of MW of power shortfall.
“The March session has created numerous problems, and it needs to be dealt with before more damage is done. The October session is a norm in almost every country that has harsh winters, and we are not demanding something extraordinary,” he said.
Pertinently, the March session was reintroduced recently in Kashmir after it was changed in 1974-75 to the October session owing to the vagaries of the winter season.
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