Students confused over winter vacation : To go or not to go, that is the question

* 50 per cent students still unwilling to return to schools, colleges due to persistent drop in temperature
Students confused over winter vacation :  To go or not to go, that is  the question

ISLAMABAD: Abrupt decisions regarding winter vacation for the FDE-run educational institutions by the authorities concerned have disturbed the academic routine of students. 
Many of the classrooms in the capital looked haunted, even on the third day (Wednesday) after the reopening of educational institutions, with very low attendance.
The winter vacation was announced by the Ministry of Capital Administration and Development (CAD) earlier from December 25 to 31 and the institutions opened on the first day of the new year with low attendance.
It was abruptly announced by the ministry on early morning of January 3 (Friday) that the educational institutions would remain close from January 3 to 11 due to severe cold weather conditions when the buses were picking the children for schools. 
On the same day’ evening, the announcement was made by the ministry that the holidays were exclusively for schools and not for the colleges, while the print media conveyed on January 4 (Saturday) that the colleges would also remain closed.
Later, the ministry announced on January 4 (Saturday) that the vacations had been cancelled and institutions would open from January 6 (Monday) owing to the decreased severity of cold.
Talking to APP, Munir Hussain, a parent, said, “Nobody informed us about the extension and cancellation of the winter holidays in time.”
“I went to drop my daughter to the institute on January 3 while going to my workplace and was surprised to see the closed gates of the school, and the gatekeepers informed that today is also a holiday,” he said. 
“I faced inconvenience that day, as I had to drop my daughter back home, and reached the office late,” he added.
One of the assistant professors at the Islamabad Model Postgraduate College for Girls, F7/2, said, “Exams were going on in the colleges and the students were extremely disturbed, and no longer willing to take their exams with such decisions.” 
The professor said that even the parents were making excessive telephone calls inquiring about the papers, while the principal was helpless and she did not know what to do in such a situation.
“There were only 15 of the 40 students in my class today,” the professor added.
Professor Tahir Mahmood, president of the Federal Government College Teachers Association (FGCTA), said that the haphazard decisions regarding vacations reflected mismanagement and lack of coordination among the two relevant departments and the officials.
He said the decisions were taken without any consultation with the heads of the educational institutions and even the officials of the FDE.
He said that such a situation should not happen in the capital, which is supposed to be a role model for the provinces to follow.
According to a survey, the attendance of students was around 20 per cent on Monday, 40 per cent on Tuesday and 50 per cent on Wednesday, as many of the students and teachers left for their native towns after extension in the vacation. 

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