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Bengal schools closed till April 24 due to heatwave




Updated: Monday, April 17, 2023, 0:54 [IST]

Google One India News

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday said all educational institutions in the state will remain closed next week in view of the “severe” heatwave conditions.

Bengal schools closed till April 24 due to heatwave

The school and higher education departments later clarified that the closure due to heatwave will be effective across the state except the hill areas.

Banerjee said children have been complaining of headaches and other health issues after coming back from schools in the last few days.

“All educational institutions, including schools, colleges and universities, will remain closed from Monday till Saturday next week, keeping in mind the severe heatwave conditions,” she said.

Banerjee also urged private educational institutions to do the same during this period. “I will also request people to avoid coming out in the sun from 12 noon to 4 pm,” the CM told a Bengali news channel earlier in the day.

A meteorological department bulletin said Kolkata recorded 39.8 degrees Celsius as the maximum temperature during the day and 29.6 degrees C as the minimum.

The mercury level is most likely to reach around 40 degrees C in the next 24 hours, it said.

“Considering the prevailing heatwave situation, the competent authority in the state government has decided all autonomous/state/central government aided and private universities/affiliating colleges in the state of West Bengal, except hill areas of Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts, will remain closed with effect from April 17 for a week or until further order, whichever is earlier,” the higher education department notification said, asking the vice chancellors of varsities to take necessary steps.

The school education department in another notice said “all autonomous/state/central government aided/sponsored/private schools” will remain closed for one week from April 17, except for the schools in hill areas of Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts where the existing academic schedule will continue.

The teaching and non-teaching staff will also remain on leave as a special case during the period, the notification said.

B D Memorial International School Principal Vijaya Chaudhuri told PTI that her school will shift to online classes from Monday for the primary, secondary, senior secondary students with flexible timing during the period, while classes for pre-primary students will be suspended for the time being.

“We are shifting to online mode of teaching, like the covid time, for a week,” she said.

Spokespersons of several other private schools, following ICSE or CBSE curriculum, also said they would conduct classes on online mode.

The West Bengal government had earlier preponed the summer vacation in state-run and-aided schools by three weeks to May 2, except in the hill areas, due to the sweltering heat.

Most places in the state have been recording day temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celsius, and the Met department has forecast that heatwave conditions will continue till April 19.

Asked if the met department had given any advice or inputs to the state government with regard to the closure of educational institutions for a week, IMD Eastern Region Director Sanjib Banerjee refused to comment.

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