Heavy rain: Holiday for educational institutions in 9 districts today

Students waiting for a bus to return home after learning that a holiday has been declared in Ernakulam district on Thursday. File Photo: Josekutty Panackal/Manorama
Students waiting for a bus to return home after learning that a holiday has been declared in Ernakulam district on Thursday. File Photo: Josekutty Panackal/Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: A holiday has been declared for educational institutions in nine districts on Friday.

The nine districts are Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Kannur and Wayanad.

The decision comes amid incessant rain in the State. Educational institutions were shut for the past two days in many places.

Though the rain had abated by Thursday evening in Kottayam, District Collector PK Jayasree declared a holiday in view of the India Meteorological Department (IMD)'s prediction that more rain is likely on the way.

A holiday was declared in Idukki and Pathanamthitta by their respective Collectors Sheeba George and Divya S Iyer considering how the two regions are prone to landslides.

Deep fissures had formed in several places in the two districts and landslips were reported in several places during the past week.

Though it had faltered in declaring a holiday timely on Thursday, Ernakulam has announced well in advance that educational institutions will remain shut on Friday.

All educational institutions, including professional colleges and Anganwadis, will remain shut in all these districts.

However, there will be no change to examinations in Kannur, Pathanamthitta, Thrissur and Palakkad.

The holiday is not applicable to residential schools in Wayanad, Thrissur and Palakkad.

On Thursday, the IMD had sounded a red alert in nine of the fourteen districts in Kerala, and an orange alert for another five.

Timely declarations

These decisions, which come a day in advance as is the norm, assume significance after Ernakulam District Collector Dr Renu Raj failed to timely declare a holiday in her district on Thursday.

This had caused much uproar in the district with many frustrated parents taking to social media to lash out at the collector not only for the confusion but also for putting their wards in a perilous situation.

When a holiday was finally declared (well past 8:30 am), many schools had already begun classes. This forced many to resort to calling the parents to come and pick up their wards.

Many others continued their classes without heeding the Collector's order. Then came another alteration to said order - those who had begun already begun classes may continue.

What perhaps was made as a gesture to avoid students having to make another difficult journey in the pouring rain was seen by many as Raj being "inefficient".

Now, what unfolded during the early hours in Ernakulam Collectorate is under scrutiny. Even Minister K Rajan has expressed displeasure about how things were handled.

He said the matter will be investigated and appropriate action will be taken.

However, Raj has redeemed herself by declaring a holiday for educational institutions on Friday well in advance.

MG University exams postponed

Mahatma Gandhi University has postponed examinations that were scheduled for Friday (August 5) following the District Collector's order that educational institutions are to remain shut.

The new dates will be announced later.

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