Mumbai: The state government’s delay in the announcement of a holiday for schools and colleges on account of heavy rain caused considerable inconvenience to students and parents on Wednesday.
The decision of the state education ministry was announced after 10 am, when students and teachers had already reached school. In several schools, classes begin by 7am.
The continuous rainfall since Wednesday morning did not deter students from reaching their respective schools. However, it was 10.40am when the state minister of school and higher secondary education, Ashish Shelar, declared a holiday.
The minister tweeted, “In view of ongoing rains and forecast, a holiday is declared for all schools in Mumbai, Thane and Konkan region.” The decision was taken after the red alert declared by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
The state government then directed school principals and teachers to send students home safely. Parents claimed the state should have made their decision earlier, instead of waiting till the eleventh hour.
Kamla Naik, a parent said, “The state declared a holiday after 10am, when our children were already in school. Suddenly, we were faced with the question of how to bring the children back home safely. It was quite a hassle.”
Another parent, Prashant Hazare, said, “We had just dropped our children to school and in a couple of hours, had to go back to get them home. But teachers and other school staff helped our children get back home safely.”
Teachers and parents complained the state should have declared a holiday well in advance as schools begin classes around 7am. Jatin Sharma, a teacher said, “I travelled from Vasai to Worli because there was no declaration of a holiday early in the morning.
But then I could not travel back in the afternoon as trains were cancelled and running slow. I would not be stranded if the state had taken the decision earlier.”
However, for students of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation schools, this was not a hassle because they are currently on a 10-day holiday for Ganesh Chaturthi festival.
Vidisha Mahadik, a BMC school teacher, said, “We have a 10-day holiday on account of the Ganesh Chaturthi. Fortunately, we did not face any inconvenience due to the decision of the state.”