BHOPAL: The state government’s decision to push the school timings for primary school children to 9 am has evoked a mixed response from Bhopalis.
There are many who hailed the move, calling it a ‘healthy alternative’ than making young children go to school bleary eyed. There were also some who said that if school starts late, it will end even later – eating into the children’s precious recreation time.
Talking about the announcement, Dr Geetanjali Jha, counsellor, Sagar Public School said, “Early hours are proving detrimental for children, especially the young ones.”
“It has been observed that most children are agitated due to the lack of sleep. I have seen students from nursery and primary section falling asleep in the bus on their way to school. The poor children are groggy and confused, when they are woken up.” Sunil Tapliyal who child studies in UKG also supported the decision. “Younger kids have a tough time waking up at as early as 6 am for school. The proposed change in school timings comes as a relief to both students and parents.” President of Parents Association, Kamal Vishwakarma, said that such a schedule is suitable only for winters. “If they start school by 9 am, it will get over by 3 pm – which means children will reach home by 4. The child can either sleep in or come home on time – it’s a compromise either way.”
Harjeet Kaur Reehal, a parent also holds a similar view. She said, “I am not very happy with the move. It takes my child an hour and a half to reach home. If the school gets over at 3, he will be back by around 4:30, which will spoil his evenings.” Another parent, Megha Khullar said, “I feel there should be a middle path, so that the child can come home at a proper time and have some recreation time.” School principals too were sceptical about the move. Sister Lily, principal of St Joseph Convent Senior School said that the aim is good but it will deprive children of rest during afternoon.
“Change in timings will lead to children reaching home late. They will be deprived of afternoon nap and a fun time with friends. They will only have time to finish their homework after which it will be time to go to bed. The whole schedule will be jumbled,” she said.
Father Varghese, principal of St Joseph’s Co-Ed School said that the move is not feasible for the entire academic session. “It is too late to start school at 9 am in summers. If the orders have been passed for winters, then the move is good.” At present, schools usually start at 7:30- 8:00 in the morning and close at 1:30-2:00 in the afternoon. Minister of state for school education Deepak Joshi on Thursday said primary schools should not start before 9 am to enable schoolchildren get good sleep. “School for tiny tots should necessarily start as late as 9 am so that children can eat, sleep, come to schools fresh and return home happily,” Joshi said.