The Federal Directorate of Education on Thursday announced one-week extension in vacations as first winter rain brought mercury down in the capital city. The directorate has issued a notification stating that all public and private educational institutions will remain closed till Jan 7 and educational activities will restart on Jan 9 due to weekly holidays. Light rain with traces of snowfall over the hills continues in parts of the country, intensifying the cold. A Met Office official said the rain-producing system that entered the country during the last 24 hours has hit Balochistan, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and from here it will enter Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan on Friday. Temperature in Islamabad dropped to 11 degrees Celsius with 62 per cent chances of precipitation. Meanwhile, the Punjab Higher Education (HED) Department on Thursday extended winter vacations in colleges across the province for another week. The notification issued stated that the holidays have been extended until January 8. As per the notification, the classes will now resume on January 9. Similarly, Punjab University has also notified the extension in winter holidays. The notification was issued in light of Lahore High Court (LHC) orders directing to extend winter vacations at educational institutions across the province for another seven days in the wake of unrelenting smog. The Punjab School Education Department had on December 14 announced winter vacations for public and private schools across the province from December 24 to December 31. Last week, the provincial apex court directed authorities to propose to the school education department to implement a two-week-long winter vacation as a step to help curb smog in Lahore.