Intense Heatwave in Bihar Leads to School Closure till June 8th

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Over 100 students and teachers fainted due to intense heatwave conditions during classes and assembly prayers at various schools across Bihar, prompting widespread concern and criticism of the state government’s handling of the crisis. The incidents were reported from multiple districts, including Aurangabad, Motihari, Siwan, Sheohar, Patna, Begusarai, Munger, Jamui, and Banka, on Wednesday.

Despite the Governor’s direction to extend the summer vacation due to difficulties faced by students, teachers, and parents, government schools reopened on May 16, while private schools remained mostly closed. The schools, which often lack basic facilities and adequate space, have been functioning despite the extreme heat.

The temperature in most cities in Bihar has exceeded 45 degrees Celsius, with Aurangabad reaching 48 degrees Celsius. According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), 17 out of 38 districts reported temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius.

IMD scientist Ashish Kumar warned that severe heatwave conditions are expected to persist in south Bihar, including Gaya, Buxar, Nawada, Rohtas, and Aurangabad, until tomorrow. He also noted that while the temperature will slightly dip from Friday, humidity will remain high.

Former MP and teachers’ association president Shatrughan Prasad Singh emphasized that keeping students and teachers safe should be the top priority, stating, “Schools should not be used by officers to prepare their report card. In extreme heatwave conditions, this is impractical.”

Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav strongly criticized the government, saying, “There is no government and democracy in Bihar, only bureaucracy. The CM is so weak that no one listens to him, even regarding school timings. The temperature is 47 degrees, there is a heatwave, but officers are issuing orders from their air-conditioned chambers, sparing not even little children. The infrastructure of schools in Bihar is not hidden from anyone… But, there is nothing in the CM’s hands.”

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