School hours advanced due to rising mercury

Bhubaneswar: With mercury touching 35 degrees Celsius mark in many parts of Odisha, the state government today directed all the schools, including private and public, to hold morning classes from April 1.

“The classes in all the schools across the state will function between 6.30 AM and 10.30 AM. No school will remain open after 11 AM,” School and Mass Education minister Debi Prasad Mishra said here today.

Stating that all schools will observe ‘Utkal Divas’ on April 1, Mishra said, school authorities are directed to complete examinations by the end of March 31. The next academic year (2015-16) in the state will begin from April 2, he said.

As precautionary measures to face the possible heatwave conditions, the minister said school authorities have been told to make provision of drinking water on the campus.

“The schools where there is no tubewell or pipe water connection, will issue direction to students to bring water bottles and umbrellas,” Mishra said, adding that the midday meal would be served to students after classes were over at 10.30 AM.

The government also issued a directive not to force any student for physical exercise classes.

“The summer vacation in all schools across the state will begin from May 4,” the minister said, adding that the Director of Schools in all the districts have been told to take steps to beat the heat.