Srinagar: Kashmir is grappling with a harsh winter - with temperatures touching minus eight degrees celsius. Students in the state have refused to attend classes if the government does not provide heating in schools.
The students also took out a march in the biting cold to protest against winter classes. They want the government to shut schools or provide heating in schools.
“It is no fun coming to school. We can't work in this extreme cold. There are no heating arrangements in school. We can't study while being snuggled in mufflers,” said Aman Mushtaq, student.
“We can't write in this cold, we want vacation,” said another student.
The state government had said there would be no winter vacations this year as students had missed out on classes for nearly five months due to the violence and curfews during the summer.
The Jammu and Kashmir high court has also intervened. It has suggested to the government that if it wants to go ahead with the winter schooling, it needs to have adequate heating systems in place. The court has asked the education department to submit a compliance report in this regard by this month end.
“I have many times called a meeting of principals and headmasters and instructed them to use funds for the heating arrangements,” said Manzoor Ahmad Paul, Chief Education Officer, Anantnag.
With the public outcry, the state government may be forced to close schools in January.