People sit by a bonfire to beat the cold in Raiganj on Tuesday morning. Picture by Nantu Dey

Cold wind and foggy mornings in North Dinajpur for the past few days have forced a school to shut down for a week while permission is being sought to close other institutions in the district till the weather improves.

Rajesh Kumar Verma, principal of Sarada Vidyamandir, a CBSE-affiliated school in town, said the institution declared a week-long holiday from yesterday because of low temperature.

“Students are catching cold and falling ill in class. After some guardians approached us with requests to grant a short holiday so that their wards could stay at home, we decided to suspend classes for the time being,” said Verma.

District inspector of schools (secondary) Rezaul Karim Tarafdar said he had received requests from authorities at several schools across the district to declare holidays for a few days.

According to agriculture department sources, the minimum temperature in the district has been varying between 4 and 5 degrees Celsius for the past three-four days.

“There is fog even at 11am and it is risky to send children to schools on any mode of transport for fear of accidents because of poor visibility. The institutions have also been approached by parents with an appeal to keep them shut till the weather improves,” said Tarafdar.

The official added that he would write to the school education department today seeking permission to keep the institutions closed for at least 10 days beginning week.

“I am in touch with several schools in Raiganj and Islampur subdivisions and all of them have informed me that many parents are not sending their wards to schools. The weather reports suggest that the cold spell will continue for some more time,” he said,

District president of the headmasters’ association Subhendu Mukherjee has welcomed the proposal to keep the schools in the district shut for a few days.

Ratan Dey, a Raiganj resident, said he had to take his son Shankho to the doctor after he fell ill while returning from school a few days back. Shankho is a Class X student of Coronation School in town.

“He is having special classes before the board examinations and the doctor said he was dehydrated because he was not drinking enough water because of the cold weather. It will be good if classes are not held for a few days,” said Dey.


Source: The Telegraph