It was another day of chaos in city schools as they had to declare a holiday on Tuesday in the wake of the demise of Cooperation Minister HS Mahadeva Prasad. As the Chief Minister announced a holiday, schools went into a tizzy: whether to send students home or keep them till the normal working hours. While some schools rang up and sent messages to parents, the entire scenario was nothing but chaos and a repeat of what happened on earlier occasions (the latest being during the Cauvery protest when schools had declared a holiday midway).
As a few schools declared holiday on Tuesday, the parents had to run to pick up their children. Shweta S, a homemaker, said “I was at the bank when my husband called me up to inform that the school had suspended the day’s classes. Thankfully, both my children study at the same school. I rushed to the school to pick them up because they avail of school transport and I wasn’t at home. By the time I reached, there were a lot of parents who had gathered there and all they had to talk of was the inconvenience they had to face.” Nitin Kumar, another parent, said, “I was heading to office and I got a call from the school. Then, I had to call up my colleagues to inform them that I would not make it to work as I had to head back to school. This looked like a repeat of what happened during the Cauvery issue. The only luck factor was that the city was peaceful and I could easily go to the school, but I still feel that school holidays should not be declared mid-way as it can cause a lot of inconvenience to parents.”
Some parents say that a section of students head to school in school bus while others are dropped by their parents, while there are a sizeable number of students who actually walk to school. If the students are sent mid-way, then even if the children come home when no one is around, it may lead to inconvenience.
The school associations told Bangalore Mirror that while some schools decided to work the whole day, others didn’t want to take risk but declared a holiday.
A school principal said, “We were dependent on the authorities to give us orders so that we could act accordingly. The news had reached us at a point when half the day was already completed. We couldn’t send the students home unless their parents individually came to pick them up. We had suspended classes and ordered schools to keep the children under their vigilance unless their parents came to collect them. We had also sent messages to every guardian to come and collect their children.Students of working parents were kept under the school authorities and school transport was not made available because we couldn’t risk it.”
What schools say
Speaking to Reporters, D Shashi Kumar, State general secretary of Karnataka Associated Management of English Medium Schools said, “We request the government not to declare holidays midway. They had declared a holiday in Chamarajanagar on Wednesday and could have followed the same model here also instead of calling it a day on Tuesday afternoon. For example, the CM announced it around 11.30 am and we got the official confirmation by 12.50 pm. This kind of declaring holiday midway can be of high risk. Many a times, parents also don’t cooperate and the entire situation can lead to frustration as parents need to rush to school to pick up their children