School attendance in Karachi falls to 40% because of cold wave


Though attendance at the private schools fell to 40 percent after the cold wave at the end of winter vacations, the Sindh government has rejected proposals calling for an extension of the vacations, it has been reliably learnt.

The provincial government, according to the sources, has called an emergency meeting of the education department’s steering committee between January 18 and 20 to discuss the issue, but the committee will only discuss the dates for next year’s winter vacations. The committee called officials of the meteorology office to review summer and winter vacations for the next academic year due to climate change.

According to the sources, the provincial government is considering to issue instructions for increasing school hours by one hour to cope up with the emergent situation.

The meteorological office has predicted an increase in the intensity of the cold wave, along with rainfall in the next week. Fearing a historical cold wave at the end of this month, the meteorology office has already forecasted cold winds in the city in the coming days.

However, sources privy to the development told this scribe that the provincial government, keeping the predictions in view, has decided not to grant an extension in the winter vacations, but to look into options to cope with this type of situation next year.

“The Sindh government would change the date of summer vacations from June to August, to May 15 to July 15, while the date of winter vacations would be changed from December 20 to December 31, to January 05 to January 20,” the sources maintained.

On the other hand, the management of the private schools is pressing the provincial government to grant the extension.

“The attendance at private schools fell down to 40 percent,” Private Schools Management Association (PSMA) Chairman Sharfuzzaman claimed. “Karachiites are not used to this type of cold weather, and this is the only reason that many school-goers fell ill in the past few days.”

“If you visit hospitals in the city, you will see that there is increase in patients complaining chest infection,” Zaman said, adding that “One of the private schools’ representative body has suggested increasing the school opening time by half hour, but I think that this is not a solution to this problem.”

The PSMA chairman demanded the provincial government to grant leaves to the school-goers from January 17 (Tuesday) to January 22 (Sunday).