The Government of Punjab on Thursday announced summer vacations in schools across the province from May 17 after considering the rising temperature and the advent of the holy month of Ramazan.

Talking to newsmen in Lahore, Punjab Education Minister Rana Mashood said schools would reopen on August 10. Temperature in various parts of Punjab has been on the up despite light to heavy showers in the last few days. “The vacations are called earlier to provide some relief to school-going children in Ramazan”, Mashood added.

Ruet-e-Hilal committee Chairman Mufti Muneebur Rehman has already called a  meeting for the sighting of moon for Ramazan on May 16.

Mashood said private schools in the province had been directed not to collect the three-month summer vacation fee in advance. He asserted the School Education Department would take action under the law against private schools that collected summer vacation’s fee in advance.

On the other hand, All Pakistan Private Schools Federation (APPSF) President Kashif Mirza announced that private schools shall remain closed from June 10 to August 10 for summer vacations, except those in Sindh and Balochistan, where private schools would remain closed from May 15 – July 15.

Last year, Pakistan witnessed a severe heat wave in the first week of April, when temperature remained above 40°C for four to five consecutive days. According to the Meteorological Department, the plains in the central parts of the country could witness an extreme heat wave this year as well. Over the last five decades, Pakistan’s annual average temperature has increased by roughly 0.5°C, raising the number of heat wave days per year nearly fivefold during the last three decades.

Health specialists have advised parents to give plenty of water to children to prevent dehydration and avoid sugary or hot drinks to prevent heat-related complications.

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