In light of the “severe” heatwave conditions, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced on April 16 that all educational institutions in the State would be closed the following week. Children have recently reported experiencing headaches and other health problems after returning from school, according to Ms. Banerjee. The Bengali government’s action coincides with an intensifying heat wave in the state.
Considering the terrible heatwave circumstances, Mamta Banerjee announced on Sunday that all educational institutions, including schools, colleges, and universities, will be closed from Monday through Saturday the next week.
Speaking on a Bengali News channel during this time, she also asked the private educational institutes to follow suit. She also urged people to stay indoors between the hours of 12 and 4 in the afternoon. Later, distinct official notifications regarding the matter were released by the school and higher education departments. They later clarified that the heatwave shutdown would apply to the entire State, with the exception of the hilly parts.
The state government notification officially announcing the closure said, “Considering the prevailing heatwave situation, the competent authority in the State Government has decided all autonomous/State/Central Government 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.” Vice Chancellors were urged to take the necessary action, according to the notification from the higher education department. The announcement made it clear that as a particular circumstance, both teaching and non-teaching personnel would remain on leave during the time.
The West Bengal government had already announced that due to the oppressive heat, the summer break in State-run and aided schools will be delayed by three weeks to May 2. The majority of locations in the State have been registering daytime highs of 40 degrees Celsius or higher, and according to the MeT Department, the heatwave will last until April 19.
Notably, over the previous several days, temperatures have been near to or over 40 degrees Celsius in a number of regions throughout the nation, including Delhi, Bihar, and West Bengal. Additionally, heat waves have been warned about for the Gangetic West Bengal, Odisha, Coastal Andhra Pradesh, and Bihar by the meteorological agency. The department has issued a temperature increase alert for various regions of the country of 2 to 4 degrees Celsius.
As a result of rising temperatures across the nation, numerous states have begun preparing to take action to control the skyrocketing mercury level and protect citizens. particularly school-age youngsters. Similar action was taken earlier on April 14 when the district government of Patna, the capital of Bihar, requested that school schedules be revised due to the oppressive summer heat.
Following a warning that there would be severe heat waves in the capital city the following few days, the Delhi Government issued specific instructions for Delhi schools on Thursday, April 13. The Delhi recommendation from the Directorate of Education (DoE) requested schools to make sure that no assemblies were scheduled for the afternoon. Children must be taught how to protect themselves from the summer heat, water breaks must be provided in schools, and any students who exhibit symptoms of heat-related sickness must be reported to a nearby hospital or health facility.