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Tripura and Meghalaya Close Schools to Protect Students from Heatwave

Garo Hills experience temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius, Rising temperatures prompt state governments to take precautionary measures.

Representational use only.Image Courtesy:Wikimedia Commons

New Delhi: Meghalaya, known for its pleasant weather and ample rain, has announced the closure of educational institutions in parts of the state due to a heatwave. This is the first instance of a state not accustomed to extreme heat. Rakkam A. Sangma, Meghalaya's Education Minister, made the announcement on April 18, stating that advisories have been issued to close down educational institutions in the West Garo Hills and South Garo Hills districts.

According to a report in The Hindu, temperatures in parts of the Garo Hills have been recorded at more than 35 degrees Celsius over the past few days, prompting concern over the safety and well-being of students, teachers, and staff. An order from West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner, Jagdish Chelani, stated that "all primary-, middle-, secondary-, and higher secondary school activities shall remain closed during the day (8 a.m. to 3 p.m.) in the district from April 19 to 21." “As a precautionary measure, all authorities concerned, including the district school education officer, are hereby directed to ensure strict compliance with this order,” it said. A similar order was issued in the South Garo Hills district.

The risk of heat stroke, dehydration, and other heat-related illnesses cannot be ignored, and authorities have been directed to ensure strict compliance with the order. The Tripura government also announced the closure of all government and government-aided schools in the state for six days from April 18 due to high temperatures, with the mercury reaching 40 degrees Celsius, which is 5-6 degrees above average for the current summer season. 

“Tripura is currently experiencing high temperatures with the mercury reaching 40 degrees Celsius, which is 5-6 degrees above average for the current summer season,” officials said. The official notification said the decision was taken, keeping the health issues of the schoolchildren in mind. According to the notification, the State government has also requested the private school authorities to keep their educational institutions closed for the same period.

The India Meteorological Department has issued a bulletin stating that maximum temperatures (in the daytime) are expected to be 35-39 degrees Celsius across Tripura for a few days and fall slightly after that. With rising temperatures across the region, other states may likely follow Meghalaya and Tripura's lead in closing educational institutions to ensure the safety of students and staff.

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