Amid severe heatwaves expected to hit most parts of the country over the next 10 days, the Punjab government on Friday reduced the timings of all public and private schools from May 18 to May 31.

The Meteorological Depart­ment warned a day ago that the presence of high pressure in the upper atmosphere will result in heatwave conditions in most parts of the country, especially Punjab and Sindh from May 21 and a severe heatwave from May 23 to 27.

Daytime temperatures are “likely to remain 4 to 6 degrees centigrade above normal” in Sindh and Punjab from May 21 to 23 and six to 8°C from May 23 to 27.

People were advised to avoid unnecessary exposure to direct sunlight and drink water.

Accordingly, a notification from the Punjab government’s school education department said that due to the severe weather, public and private schools across the province from May 18 to May 31 will operate from 7am to 11:30am from Mondays to Thursdays and Saturdays, and from 7am to 10am on Fridays.

The notification further instructed that school heads should also take the following precautionary measures: ensure fans were in working condition, ensure availability of water coolers and ensure that no student be made to sit in an open space or school lawn during the summer.

Chief executive officers and heads of institutions were also directed to ensure compliance with the above instructions in “true letter and spirit”.

Punjab Minister for School Education, Rana Sikandar Hayat stressed the urgent need for climate action, emphasising that everyone had a “vital role to play in mitigating the effects of climate change!”

A separate notification also announced that all private and public schools in the province would remain closed from June 1 till August 14 for summer vacations with the school year set to begin from Aug 15.

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