Parents, Educational Institutions Unhappy with Govt Over Late Holiday Announcement
“Looks like our children wake up much earlier than the government,” a parent fumed, as education minister Sabitha Indra Reddy’s announcement on the two-day closure of educational institutions came at 8.18 am on Thursday, after most had already started or reached their schools and colleges.
“Keeping in view of the heavy rainfall in the state and under the instructions of the Honourable CM, KCR garu, the Govt has decided to declare holidays for two days to all education institutions in the state. That is Thursday and Friday (sic),” the minister posted on Twitter.
Vishnu Shankara, a techie who lives in Malakpet, said: “Our children wake up earlier than the government. I dropped my kid as his school assembly starts at 8.30 am, and then, I was forced to skip a meeting to bring him back home.”
Many questioned why the government needed two days to take a simple call. “The forecast came out two days ago. And even when the decision was actually made, it was late and caused more confusion and trouble to us all. I'm glad I work from home or my wife and I would've had a tough time coming back to pick our son,” said Karthik Mendla, a parent.
Malini Reddy, another parent, bemoaned the lack of preparedness. “This only shows that the decision was announced to shrug off responsibility off their shoulders and say we took a call. They didn't care if it would actually prove efficient,” she said.
Schools and college managements were equally unhappy over the last-minute fumbling.
“We were expecting the government to take a call the previous night since such rains were predicted. When no information came until late night, we thought there would be no such call. What’s the point of declaring a holiday after 8 am? Students come from far-off places and start to school by 7.30 am or even much earlier, especially because of the traffic jam rains cause. We sent information to parents over WhatsApp and email after having sent out school buses. We held classes for students who reached the school as many parents had already headed out to work and weren’t in a position to pick up their kids,” said M. Maurya, headmaster of a school in Abids.
Osmania University said that colleges affiliated with it will be closed for two days and all the examinations scheduled for these two days stand postponed.
Students at many colleges complained that they had started writing their examinations by the time the news reached their invigilators, after which they had to return their answer sheets and question papers.
School buses had already picked students up by then and some colleges, which had internal exams going on, left students tense till minutes before the exam. “We waded our way through waterlogged roads to reach college for the exam and were kept waiting until 9 am before being allowed to return home,” said Sabitha K., a student of a corporate college in the city, whose monthly mock test was to start at 9 am.
A few schools wrote to parents that they would be having a half-day of school and a holiday on Friday. “But we did send off students whose parents came to pick them up during the day. We just wanted to ensure the students went back home safe… even if they stayed right next to the school, we sent them only with a guardian. Every corner and pole can prove dangerous. It was a huge problem calling up auto drivers to ferry back the kids,” said Nagapadma, principal of Krishnaveni Talent School.
Meanwhile, roads leading to schools, colleges and workplaces remained jammed due to waterlogging, with the issue especially acute at hubs of King Koti, Narayanaguda, Habsiguda, Abids and Vidyanagar, all of which have multiple educational institutions within a two-kilometre radius.
Intense, continuous spells have been forecasted by the Indian Meteorological Department in the state until July 24, with yellow and orange alerts issued for several districts. According to an IMD report on Thursday morning, all six zones in the city — Charminar, Khairatabad, Kukatpally, LB Nagar, Secunderabad and Serilingampally — are to receive light to moderate rainfall or thundershowers until July 23, with yellow alert issued for Friday.