A school staffer pours water on a child at the primary school in Malpur area on Wednesday after several students fainted due to hot weather. — White Star
A school staffer pours water on a child at the primary school in Malpur area on Wednesday after several students fainted due to hot weather. — White Star

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) on Wednesday decided to reduce timings of classes after seven students of a primary school fainted due to suffocation.

It has also been decided that students will now attend school for two days in a week keeping in view the heat wave in the capital.

A notification of the FDE issued hours after the incident in a primary school of Malpur Area stated: “In the context of heat wave currently being experienced in ICT, the revised timings of educational institutions are as under in which students shall attend the institution only twice a week with no consecutive attendance.”

As many as 423 public sector educational institutions fall under the purview of the FDE.

The notification said the class timings would be from 7am to 11am from Monday to Thursday. All students shall attend classes in a staggered manner in two groups on alternate days with no more than 50pc students to be allowed. Classes in evening shifts will be conducted only on Friday and Saturday from 7am to 11am.

Students have also been advised to use a hat or umbrella to cover their heads while travelling to and from school, and keep themselves hydrated at all times, the notification said, adding that Friday will be a working day for teachers and admin staff in single shift institutions.

Announcement comes hours after seven students fainted due to hot weather

Earlier, sources said in the primary school of Malpur, due to suspension of power supply, seven students fainted and suffered nose bleeds. Three students fainted around 9:30am due to suspension of power supply and later four more students fell unconscious at around 11:30am.

“The principal should have asked students for immediate dismissal as continuation of educational activities was impossible without electricity with temperature over 40°C,” said a schoolteacher requesting not to be named.

However, a director of the FDE said its management took notice of the incident and issued a directive to all heads to take the decision of dismissal of classes in case of emergencies including suspension of power supply.

Meanwhile, chairperson of Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) Qaisar Alam announced the schedule of board examination, stating that exams of class 12 will begin from July 10 and continue till July 31 while those of class 10 will begin from July 12 and end on July 30. Examination for class 9 and 11 will be held in August.

It is relevant to note here that this year, students of classes 9 and 10 will appear for exams of elective subjects and mathematics while those of grade 11 and 12 would take exams of elective subjects only.

The head of the board said that for the first time, students will mark digital attendance while papers will be checked through e-marking.

He said FBISE’s major operations have been shifted to online system for accuracy and to provide the best facilities to students. He said for upcoming exams, over 700 centres will be set up for matric exams while 385 will be established for intermediate exams.

Educational institutions, which remained closed for almost two months due to Covid-19, reopened on June 7. Sources said under the tentative plan, the government wanted to keep the institutions open till July 10, with the next academic session starting from August 2.

Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2021

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