As the mercury continues its descent below freezing in the picturesque valley of Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir administration is earnestly contemplating the initiation of winter vacations for schools. The Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir, V K Bhiduri, revealed on Wednesday that a formal proposal has been submitted to the administration, signaling the seriousness with which the matter is being approached.
Bhiduri acknowledged the challenge of maintaining a delicate balance between the well-being of students and the academic schedule. While it is within the administration’s power to declare winter vacations, they are also keenly aware of the potential academic setbacks that such a decision could incur. “We have to balance both things. The academic session of schools is planned, and we have to figure in several things, including board examinations,” he explained.
In an effort to mitigate the impact on education, the officials are considering a phased closure of schools, a practice aligned with past years. This measured approach would involve closing primary classes initially, followed by middle-level classes, and ultimately senior secondary classes. This strategy aims to strike a balance between addressing the immediate weather-related concerns and minimizing disruptions to the academic calendar.
The Kashmir valley has experienced a significant drop in temperatures over the last three days, with Srinagar witnessing a minimum temperature of minus 1.8 degrees Celsius, two degrees below the normal average for this time of year. Dense fog has further compounded the weather challenges, particularly during the crucial early morning hours when students commute to school.
Recognizing the need to ensure the comfort and safety of students during the harsh winter conditions, questions have arisen regarding heating arrangements in educational institutions. Bhiduri clarified that while the administration has not issued general instructions, schools have been sensitized to the issue. The variation in heating capabilities among different schools necessitates a more nuanced approach to address this concern.
Appeal from Private Schools:
In response to the prevailing cold wave conditions, the Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir has appealed to the government to consider declaring winter vacations for lower classes. This appeal underscores the shared concern for the well-being of students and aligns with the administration’s ongoing deliberations.