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24 Jun 2018

Heat-break ball in school court Campuses can reopen if they want to: Partha

TT, Calcutta: Schools can reopen if they want to as the weather has improved, education minister Partha Chatterjee said on Saturday.

"The decision to close schools had been taken following an appeal from the schools," Chatterjee said.

"We have not received any appeal from any school seeking an order to reopen. Now, we leave it to the schools to decide for themselves."

The minister was speaking on the sidelines of a programme in Behala to felicitate students.

Chatterjee on Monday had announced that all state-funded and state-run schools would remain shut for 11 days from June 20 because of the excessive heat.

On Tuesday, the school education department issued two circulars, one addressed to the ICSE council and the Central Board of Secondary Education and the other to the heads of state schools.

While the decision to suspend classes was mandatory for all state schools, the circular to the two Delhi-based boards was worded more like a request.

Several ICSE schools in the city suspended classes, following a circular from the council, requesting them to comply with the government's plea. Some remained open but reduced school hours.

The temperature, however, dropped significantly on Wednesday because of rain and many private schools announced classes would resume next week (Monday or Tuesday mostly).

State schools haven't been able to take a call, though, in the absence of a government order.

The minister's statement on Saturday will allow them to reopen next week.

A government order might not be necessary to reopen schools, a school education department official said. "State schools can reopen by informing the department of their decision... for example through an email," the official said.

Modern High School for Girls will reopen on Monday.

The La Martiniere schools had initially decided to remain closed till June 30. But on Friday the school announced on its official Facebook page that classes would resume on Wednesday.

The Heritage School is expected to start next week.

"We are losing precious time because of this sudden break. But at the same time we could not take the government's and the council's letter lightly," a teacher of an ICSE school said.

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