Published: 24th March 2018
Parents in Hyderabad demand half-day for CBSE schools to help beat the heat
While a circular stating such a move for state-board schools has emerged, no such exception has been made for CBSE and ICSE schools
Parents and teachers in Hyderabad are demanding that the Education Department cut short the school timings for all schools in the city amid rising mercury levels. While the department had issued a circular on March 12 declaring half- day for government, government-aided and private schools for primary, upper primary and high schools from March 15, the directive is not binding on CBSE and ICSE schools functioning in the city.
The new session in these schools began from March 19 and classes will go on till April 14 when the schools close for summer vacations. Parents are demanding that schools implement half day schools during summer months to prevent children from falling ill due to the scorching heat. "This happens every year. Government changes school timings but only schools following SSC syllabus are seen following the rules. CBSE schools continue to conduct full-day classes even in peak summers and claim that they are not bound by the state government's directives," said SM Koteshwar, a parent.
Ghazala Syed a primary school teacher from a private school in Chandanagar said that several parents whose children are in the kindergarten have been asking teachers to advance summer vacation for lower classes. "We tell them that it's not in our hands. It is the management's decision. We direct such parents to the principal. But yes, there is a need to regulate timings given the heat conditions," she said.
Meanwhile, education department officials confirmed that the circular is limited to state schools which have to follow it without any exception. When asked if the department will consider issuing directions to CBSE schools, Venkata Narassama, Hyderabad District Education Officer said," We will discuss the concerns with the higher officials and see what can be done as there is still a month for summer vacations. We are, however, taking action against state schools that are functioning beyond 12:30 pm."
The circular categorically states that the schools have to function between 8 am to 12:30 pm. Private schools are dismissing classes at 12:30 pm and are making teachers stay back till 4:30 pm. Shaik Shabbir of Ali Telangana Private Teachers Forum said that ahead of the new academic session, several private school managements are making teachers work to get more admissions.
"After school hours, teachers double up at agents and go around localities trying to convince parents to get their children enrolled in their schools. Not only are teachers doing extra work, the heat is also taking a toll on their health," Shabbir said. The DEO said that the timing is applicable for both students and teachers, but refuted claims of receiving any complaints from teachers.