Cassian Baliarsingh

Amid the rising heatwave conditions in the state, the Odisha Secondary School Teachers’ Association (OSSTA) has appealed to the newly elected Odisha BJP government to extend the summer vacation for students. The current vacation will end today with the schools scheduled to reopen from June 18.

The OSSTA demanded the summer holidays to be extended until the heatwave conditions normalize. If not for more days, the government should at least extend the holidays for another 3-4 days, they demanded.

“After summer vacation, the government has directed the reopening of all the schools from tomorrow. However, the entire state is gripped by excess heat with several Odisha districts experiencing 38-40 degrees Celsius temperature. So, keeping in mind the health of the students, we appeal to the government to extend the summer holidays,” said Ranjan Kumar Das, general secretary, OSSTA.

“Most of the schools have asbestos roofs and are deprived of fans and other electric equipment. Furthermore, many schools lack proper electricity and drinking water facilities. So, opening the school is like playing with the health of the students,” said another teacher.

“Odisha is yet to receive rainfall due to the slow progress of Monsoon. So, I request our new Chief Minister Mohan Majhi to look into the matter and extend the summer holidays,” he added.

Commenting on the matter, Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena said that the state government is in constant touch with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and appropriate decision would be taken based on their latest report.

“We are in constant touch with the weather department. Next course of action will be taken based on their forecast,” Jena said.

School and Mass Education Minister Nityananda Gond also maintained that District Collectors have been directed to take necessary decision as per the heatwave conditions.

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