Rain Takes a Day Off While Pune Schools Sit Idle Due to IMD’s Forecast

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Reported By Varad Bhatkhande

Pune, 9th July 2024: Yesterday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued Red Alerts for many districts across Maharashtra, including Pune. As a result, students up to 12th standard in Pune were given a holiday today to stay safe at home during expected heavy rains. However, during the typical school hours from 7 AM to 4 PM, when most schools are in session, the rain ironically decided to take a ‘holiday’, prompting a sarcastic backlash against IMD on social media.

Dr. Suhas Diwase, Pune District Collector, announced the holiday for all schools up to 12th grade to prevent any potential incidents due to heavy rains and to mitigate the impact of emergencies on students. Nevertheless, school principals, teachers, and non-teaching staff were instructed to remain present during office hours and undertake disaster management duties as directed by local authorities.

Following the Pune District Collector’s directive, the Education Departments of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), and other Municipalities also declared a holiday for schools, which was communicated to parents accordingly.

Despite IMD’s warning, however, there was no sign of heavy rain in Pune or surrounding areas; instead, the weather remained sunny and clear throughout the day. This led to widespread criticism on social media, with many questioning the necessity of the holiday declared by the district administration. Similar situations were recalled from the previous year when precautionary holidays were declared without actual rainfall occurring.

In addition to Government Schools, Private Schools, including those affiliated with CBSE and ICSE boards, were also instructed to observe a holiday. For crucial classes like 9th to 12th standard, where there is significant pressure to complete syllabi on time for upcoming tests and revisions, missing even a single day disrupts the tight schedules of teachers. A teacher from a prominent PCMC school expressed frustration, stating, “IMD should ensure accurate forecasts because such unnecessary holidays add to the challenges of teaching higher standard students who are already under immense pressure.”

Parents across Pune joined in criticizing both the administration and IMD for what they perceived as an overreaction and unwarranted holiday declaration. They argued that the holiday was a waste for students, as neither the predicted rain nor the anticipated weather conditions materialized, with many parts of Pune District experiencing sunny weather instead.