Summer camps: A call for  adherence to govt orders

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Sabahat Ali

As temperatures reach unprecedented highs, educational institutions are closing for extended summer holidays, a crucial measure to safeguard the health and well-being of students and staff. However, many schools are increasingly organizing summer camps during these periods, raising concerns about compliance with government directives aimed at protecting public health. This article addresses critical points for higher education authorities, urging a reassessment of current practices and policies.

 *The Health Imperative

Health Risks:*

 Extreme heat poses severe health risks, including dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Children are particularly vulnerable, and exposing them to these conditions contradicts the rationale behind summer holidays.

 Government Directives: Government orders to close schools during the hottest months are based on public health guidelines and expert advice. These directives aim to prevent health crises among children, a priority that should not be undermined by financial motives.

The Role of Higher Education Authorities

Policy Enforcement: Higher education authorities must ensure that schools adhere strictly to government orders. This includes prohibiting any form of organized activity, such as summer camps, that could expose students to dangerous heat conditions.

 Monitoring and Accountability : Regular monitoring and strict enforcement mechanisms should be implemented. Schools found violating the closure orders should face appropriate penalties to deter non-compliance.

 *Ethical Considerations

Equity and Access:* The commercialization of education through summer camps can exacerbate inequalities. Affluent families can afford these programs, while less privileged students miss out, widening the socio-economic gap in educational opportunities.

 Commercial vs. Educational Interests:

 Schools should prioritize the health and safety of their students over financial gains. The primary mission of educational institutions is to foster safe and conducive learning environments, a mandate that extends to adhering to public health guidelines.

 *Practical Solutions

Alternative Engagement*

Authorities should encourage schools to offer alternative engagement methods that do not require physical presence. Online enrichment programs can provide valuable learning opportunities without the associated health risks of physical camps.

 Community Collaboration : Schools can collaborate with community organizations to provide safe and cool spaces for children whose parents need childcare. These collaborations can ensure that children are not left unsupervised while also adhering to government health directives.

In light of severe heat conditions and government orders to close schools during summer, it is imperative that higher education authorities enforce strict compliance. Schools should be closed for all kinds of activities to protect the health and safety of students. By prioritizing public health over financial incentives, and exploring alternative engagement methods, schools can continue to fulfill their educational mission while adhering to essential safety guidelines.