Erratic power supply finds students unable to plan out a fixed schedule to study for board exams

Come public examinations, students start getting advice by the dozen on the need to study hard. This year around, the students need no telling as the eight-hour power cuts and erratic supply have made the already-arduous task of preparing for public examinations even more harder.

With power cuts being effected day in and day out without any specific pattern, students are at a total loss and are unable to have fixed hours for studying.

Said S. Vignaraj, a Standard XII student from CEOA Matriculation Higher Secondary School, “After returning from school, the time between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. is when I study and in the last month or so, there are at least two spells of power cuts in this period thereby totally disrupting my study plans.”

To add to this, the spate of power cuts at night makes the children have disturbed sleep thus they wake up feeling tired and are unable to concentrate.

Studying through power cuts even during day time was also getting difficult as the days are getting hotter and studying without fans is almost impossible, he added.

K. Arvind, a Madurai boy who is studying at Mohammad Sathak Polytechnic in Keezhakarai in Ramanathapuram district, said that the problems due to power cuts were even worse for hostellers like him.

The allotted study hour was between 8.30 p.m. and 10 p.m., of which at least one hour was lost due to power cuts. Further, the mornings are also difficult as without electricity, getting the motor running for water and heating it and all other chores were getting hit.

With the college located in a rural area, the duration of daily power cuts was higher than urban areas, he added,

M. Sanjay Krishna, a Standard X student (CBSE) from Mahatma School (Baba Building), said that studying under emergency lights was very difficult and uncomfortable as it put a lot of strain on the eyes.

The increased power cuts, he said, had come very near to the public examinations and had thrown a spanner in the preparations. With the power supply having become totally unreliable, he said that he had completely stopped having any recreation or relaxation and spent all the time studying whenever the power was on.

P. Muthusamy, a Standard XII student from CEOA School, said that he was spending more hours studying at school to compensate for the loss of studying hours at home due to power cuts.

S. Ramkumar, a Standard XII student from Seventh Day Adventist School, said that the constant power cuts were upsetting the rhythm of studying.

Besides being unable to concentrate, he said that the lack of sleep meant that he felt exhausted all day long.

Even getting to school, V. Arjun, also from CEOA Matriculation Higher Secondary School, said had now become a problem due to power cuts between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. From getting the hot water ready to preparing break fast, everything has been hit. Even the inverter was providing only limited relief as its battery often ran dry, he added.

Apart from the student's preparations, pubic examination practicals were also affected in many schools despite some measures being taken by the authorities.

The Education Department provided the power authorities with a list of schools that were venues for public examinations so that load shedding in those areas could be scheduled before or after the examinations. However, TANGEDCO officials were unable to stick to this schedule due to deterioration in power generation.

While private schools with deep pockets arranged for inverters and generators for ensuring the smooth conduct of the practicals, the Government schools and other financially-weaker ones found themselves in a tough spot and many of them reported that their practicals were affected.