KARACHI: Keeping in view the rising temperatures in Sindh, education and literacy department secretary Fazlullah Pechuho, with the approval of education minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, announced the start of summer holidays for all schools and colleges across the province with immediate effect.
All public and private educational institutions in Sindh will remain closed from May 20 [today] till Sunday, July 24. “Summer vacations for all public and private educational institutions of Sindh are hereby rescheduled from May 19 till July 24 instead of June 1 till July 31 due to prevailing heatwave. All the educational institutions shall open on July 25,” reads the notification.
The decision to close schools and colleges 10 days earlier than the scheduled date was taken after forecasts of extreme heat in Sindh. The humidity in southern Sindh is increasing day by day, making it difficult to breathe, especially in cities like Karachi, Badin and Thatta, said Pechuho. In upper Sindh, the temperature is expected to touch 50oC next week, he added.
Private schools’ divide
However, Private Schools Management Association (PSMA) chairperson Sharafuz Zaman raised objections to the rescheduling of vacations and announced that all schools under his association in Sindh will remain open until Tuesday, May 24.
Schools can hand over summer vacation homework to students until Tuesday. “Many schools have Matriculation practicals till May 25 and most have not even prepared summer vacation homework yet,” explained Zaman, adding that PSMA appreciates the decision taken by the secretary in favour of students but cannot close schools on a day’s notice.
Meanwhile, All Private Schools Management Association Sindh (APSMAS) chairperson Syed Khalid Shah said that all the schools that come under their association will close from today as per the government’s notification. “We have asked each school to announce a date for parents to collect summer vacation homework within the next week,” he said.
Despite the rescheduled summer vacation dates, the annual examinations of the Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) will be held as per schedule.
Spokesperson of the Catholic Association told The Express Tribune that they will follow the rescheduled summer vacations and will close from May 20.
Sindh Madressatul Islam University (SMIU) has announced that its SMIU Model School will observe summer vacation from May 20 to July 24 and will reopen on July 25, while SMUI’s academic departments will observe summer vacation from June 6 to July 29.
Beaconhouse School System’s southern region schools have their last exam today (Friday), after which they will also start their summer vacations.
According to a teacher at Nasra School’s Malir campus, their first term assessments were scheduled to start today (Friday) but now these assessments will be rescheduled for August. “We teachers will get fewer holidays as we have to come to school until June 1,” she said.
The Generations School and Happy Palace School announced their decision to close the schools by Friday around 15 days ago, said a parent whose children study in both schools. Happy Home School principal Farah Imam said the school is not affected by the decision as their students have finished their exams and are already on vacation.
Representatives for Cambridge International Examinations were not available for comments.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2016.