Kashmir parents, teachers urge revised school hours as heatwave intensifies

Srinagar, May 28: Amid a severe heatwave gripping the Kashmir valley, parents and teachers are urgently calling on authorities to revise school timings to protect students, especially young children, from the intense heat. Concerns are mounting as temperatures continue to soar, with the Meteorological Department forecasting no respite in the coming days.

Scores of parents of kindergarten students are demanding an earlier start to the school day to avoid the peak heat hours. The current timing of 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM is being deemed unsuitable, especially for children aged 3 to 5 years who are highly susceptible to heat-related illnesses.
“Three to five-year-old children are extremely sensitive, and in the increasing heat, they are likely to fall ill,” stated a worried parent whose child attends lower kindergarten. “With summer holidays starting from June, the government should exempt the kindergarten students from school for the remaining days.”
Many parents are proposing a shift in timings from 8:30 AM to 7:00 AM, allowing students to return home by 1:30 PM, before temperatures peak in the afternoon.
Teachers have also voiced concerns over the challenging conditions, citing overcrowded classrooms that become stifling hotboxes in the sweltering wather. “Due to space constraints in some schools, over 50 students sit in one class, making it extremely suffocating in the current weather conditions,” several teachers said.
The calls for revised timings come as the Kashmir valley grapples with severe heatwave conditions, with temperatures soaring well above the normal range for this time of year. The Meteorological Department’s weather bulletin has warned of continued intense heat in the coming days, exacerbating fears for students’ well-being.
Despite the mounting concerns from parents and educators, officials from the Department of Education have remained tight-lipped on the issue so far. Authorities are being urged to take swift action and implement measures to safeguard the health and safety of students, especially the most vulnerable young children.
As the heatwave shows no signs of abating, the demand for revised school timings is gaining momentum, with parents and teachers hoping for a prompt response from the administration. Failure to address the issue could potentially lead to severe consequences for the students forced to endure long hours in sweltering classrooms.
The situation has once again brought to the fore the need for better preparedness and contingency plans to tackle extreme weather events, which are becoming increasingly frequent due to climate change. Ensuring the well-being of students should be a top priority for education authorities, especially during such challenging environmental conditions.

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