Students attend oven like schools without roofs, fans or power

The heatwave that has hit the country is having a devastating effect on school going children especially from government-run institutions, which lack even basic amenities like fans, drinking water and proper toilets.



This year the sun has decided to heat up the matters a bit more than needed. The heatwave, currently sweeping across the country has had a devastating effect, none more so than school going children, especially from government-run institutions, which lack even basic amenities like fans, drinking water and proper toilets.

Jharkhand has the dubious distinction of over 60% state-run schools lacking power. So the authorities are increasingly relying on local jugaad to keep classrooms cool— storing drinking water in earthen pots, installing bamboo-and-straw mats on windows and charcoal coolers.

Besides in-class measures, the government also ensured that the children do not have to brave the worst of the heat during school hours and so fixed the schools timings from 6.30am to 11am. Similarly, schools in Jamshedpur where a 45 degree temperature was recorded was instructed to dismiss classes by 10.30am.

“Since electrification of all schools will take at least 2 years, schools have been instructed to keep children indoors, ensure availability of drinking water in earthen pots and use local techniques to keep the classrooms cool,” said Aradhana Patnaik, state school education and literacy secretary.


In the neighbouring state of Bihar, the state teachers’ association claims nearly 70% state-run schools don’t provide drinking water facilities. In this scenario expecting ceiling fans is sheer wishful thinking said Mithilesh Sharma of the association.

Odisha, which witnessed blistering temperatures of 46.3 degrees Celsius, initially adjusted school timings but decided against holding classes till April 26 as temperatures soared.

Further south, the Telangana government has already advanced summer holidays by a week from April 23 to April 16 after the temperature registered a maximum of 40 degrees Celsius.

Uttar Pradesh too has rescheduled the school timings from 7am to 12pm until the temperature drops from the current 42 degrees. But it’s is not enough due to the erratic power supply and the absence of generators in schools.

A government school student said the administration should close all the schools by advancing the summer vacations. “Instead, the schools can start early in the third week of June – once the monsoon arrives,” he said.


Given the progressive march of temperatures due to global warming and other effects, the norms of summer vacations may change with schools remaining shut for a major part of the summer months in the future.


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