After Tripura, Meghalaya has announced the closure of all educational institutions in parts of the State due to a heatwave. This is the first such instance for a State known more for its pleasant weather and ample rain.
Meghalaya’s Education Minister, Rakkam A. Sangma on April 18 said advisories have been issued to close down educational institutions in the West Garo Hills and South Garo Hills districts.
Parts of the Garo Hills, particularly the plain belts, have been experiencing temperatures of more than 35 degrees Celsius over the past few days.
“In view of the massive surge in heat wave across the West Garo Hills district, and to ensure the safety and well-being of the students, teachers, and staff, 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,” an order from West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner, Jagdish Chelani read.
According to the order, the heatwave conditions in the district are a matter of concern, and the risk of heat stroke, dehydration, and other heat-related illnesses cannot be ignored. “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.
On April 17, the Tripura government announced the closure of all government and government-aided schools in the State for six days from April 18.
An 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.
“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 India Meteorological Department, in a bulletin, said that due to prevailing north-westerly and westerly dry hot air and high solar insolation, maximum temperature (in the daytime) is expected to be in the range of 35-39 degrees Celsius across Tripura for a few days and fall slightly thereafter.