Teachers, parents reject Ramzan timings, urge FDE to announce summer vacations

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Zubair Qureshi

In the wake of the current hot spell and prolonged hours of loadshedding in the federal capital, teachers and parents as well as students have demanded of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) to announce summer vacations w.e.f Monday (tomorrow), May 29 2017. The Federal Directorate of Education has announced schedule of school (college) timings for only five days from Monday to Friday i.e. May 29 to June 2, 2017. According to the new schedule schools will open at 8.00 a.m. and close at 1.00 p.m. while on Friday they will close at 12.00 noon. Friday June 2 will be last working day in schools. This schedule is announced at a time when all schools and colleges have already been closed in Punjab.
May 26 was the last working day for schools and colleges and other educational institutions in the province. The Punjab government has taken the decision on the demand of the parents, teachers and students as they had made it clear that it would not be possible for them to attend the schools or to take their kids to and from schools in the Holy month of Ramazan in such hot conditions. Calling the Punjab government’s decision a wise one, many parents, particularly, mothers have urged the FDE to announce the same for Islamabad’s schools too.
Ramazan is a month of prayers and blessings and one tends to do minimum physical activity. Continuing the school work will be an extra ordeal for many parents, teachers and even students who will be observing fasting from Sunday (today), said Amna a mother of two school going children, Ali and Minahil. My son Ali is a student of Class VIII and he will be observing Roza while Minahil who is a grade-III student will not be fasting. My heart goes out for my son. How will he manage during the five days, said Amna.
A teacher Nawaz Malik while talking to Pakistan Observer also expressed his wonder at the FDE’s decision not to close the schools for summer vacation. Will one week make any difference, he asked. Does the FDE expect from teachers to take their classes and deliver lectures during the five days of sizzling heat, he asked. Likewise if the students with Roza (fasting) will be taking any interest in what is being taught, he asked.
A senior official of the FDE told Pakistan Observer that the newly appointed DG of the FDE didn’t take up the matter with the CADD Minsiter Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry or the Secretary CADD. If they were apprised of the ground situation they would agree that schools and colleges of the federal capital might also close for summer vacation.

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