SRINAGAR: Parents across Kashmir have urged the authorities to postpone winter holidays for at least 10 standard students in the wake of extreme cold and lack of heating arrangements in educational institutions in the Kashmir valley.
While classes up to level 5 have been ordered to observe winter holidays from December 1 (tomorrow), holidays in middle classes (levels six through eight) start on December 12 and for other grades up to level twelve, weather-driven holidays start from December 19.
Parents should not have heating arrangements in educational institutions, both governmental and private.
“We are asking the authorities to postpone vacations until at least 10th grade. The weather conditions are very harsh for the students to deal with as there are no heating arrangements in almost all schools, whether government or private,” said one of the parents, Muhammad Yunus.
Another parent, Sheikh Omair, said the authorities should prioritize the students’ health. “Children are always exposed to cold-related diseases and it is not enough to declare holidays up to level five only. The government should be aware of the ground facts that there is a lack of heating arrangements. Children in level six, seven, eight, nine or even twelve are not adults So much so that they can or can ward off colds of this magnitude,” he said.
The administration should also think about those students who may not even be carrying a jacket. Within their homes, they may take whatever is available. Sometimes it hits the psyche of the students. All these circumstances must be taken into consideration, and as such, I respectfully urge the authorities to arrange holidays for all seasons and to announce them as soon as practicable.”
Munza Farooq, whose son is in seventh form at Srinagar School, said the cold conditions make it difficult for people in their 30s and 40s to go outside. “My humble request to the authorities is to postpone the holidays in advance,” she said, adding, “There is already a change in the academic calendar for the exams, and if the weather permits, they are expected to be held in March next year. There is no urgency in the exam either.”