CHENNAI: Thanks to the sweltering summer heat, cities like Puducherry have postponed the reopening date for schools. But not Chennai! Schools in the city have decided to stick to the June 1 schedule. While parents feel sorry that their children will have to bear the scorching heat, several members of the school boards claim it would be not be sensible to postpone the dates as it would be difficult to compensate the days lost.
“We give holidays when there is heavy rains, but that makes sense because students will find it difficult to travel from home to school. But declaring holidays for summer would be a bit too much,” said R Visalakhmi, president, TN Private School Association. “If we allow, the students and teachers would have to work on Saturdays to complete portions. This will be more tiresome.”
Concurred Minno Aggarwal, principal, DAV Public School, who adds that since schools start early in the morning and finish by 4 pm, students would not suffer much. “The rest of the time, they would remain in the classrooms. Plus, we make sure PT classes are not held during the summer and students don’t loiter in the heat,” she explained.
While school authorities are worrying about syllabus completion, parents say the reopening dates should be postponed. “My four-year-old has spent the whole of last summer wearing just her inner wear because of the heat, and in the afternoon, she asks for a bucket of cool water as she wants to play in it. I have two other daughters under 10 who are also in school and dreading the heat,” averred Kavitha Thirmurugan. “Even if we pack some juice for them it would get warm by the time they drink it during lunch. If kids are at home, we can remind them to drink liquids or keep cool by staying indoors. How will they know what to do in school?”
Rekha Ramu, mother of a six-year-old, is worried that younger children will not know they have to keep themselves hydrated all the time. “Too many students in one classroom could be difficult for the children,” she added. M Rajkumar, father of two, said both his children suffered from chicken pox this year because of the severe heat. “Normally the heat leads to a host of problems and kids are more vulnerable than before. The education department should take precaution and postpone the reopening date for schools,” he said.