While the School Education Department called for schools to reopen at the start of June so that they had enough working days to tackle the syllabus, several institutions are now mulling giving students holidays due to the lack of water on campus.
K.R. Nandhakumar, State general secretary of the T.N. Nursery Primary Higher Secondary Matriculation and CBSE Schools’ Association, said several members were facing water shortage on their campuses.
“A few schools have resorted to half-day holidays and where the situation is worse, they are considering working only on alternate days. Our main problem is that while it has become expensive to buy water, the availability too is scarce. Even if we are ready to buy, a tanker is available only once every few days,” he said. The association has approached department officials for solutions, but they have not got any concrete plans.
The principal of a school on the outskirts of the city said students had been instructed to carry atleast two bottles of water to school every day. “The high temperatures have also meant that we are cancelling PT classes,” he added.
The announcement by a school in Chromepet to declare half-day holiday for students was shared across social media. While schools in the city are trying to manage the situation, schools on the outskirts who are struggling without regular water supply have been the worst hit.
S. Arumainathan, State president of the Tamil Nadu Students’ Parents’ Welfare Association, said many schools were scared of facing action from the Education Department for having declared holidays.
“The department should step in and assess the situation. Block-level officials can visit schools to check on their water situations and could ask them to declare a holiday if needed, following an area-wise survey. We’re hearing about schools which don’t have enough water in the toilets and it is unfair to put children through this,” he added.