Air quality is another concern as children return to school | Latest Delhi News

As more schools in Delhi reopen for in-person classes after the Diwali break, they will face dangerous pollution levels in the city, a concern that schools have taken a back seat as Covid mitigation measures have become their primary focus.

Most principals said they would limit outdoor physical activity until air quality improves.

Jyoti Arora, principal of Mount Abu Public School in Rohini, which reopens for in-person classes on Thursday, said: “As pollution peaks, especially after Diwali, we are dropping physical activity in the midst of air and will continue to do the same once we reopen. We have already indicated in our operating guidelines that there will be limitations on certain sports and outdoor activities due to current concerns about Covid-19 and pollution levels. “

So far, around 70% of parents of students at the school have consented to their children attending physical classes, school authorities said. Most students, however, refused to opt for the school’s transportation services, possibly due to fears of the spread of Covid-19.

“We are still in the process of obtaining parental consent. Some parents are still weighing the options, so the answers come slowly. It is possible that pollution levels are one of the factors parents take their time to consent to physical classes, ”said Arora.

During the first days after the reopening, the school will focus on interactive sessions with students on a range of topics, including the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change.

“The teachers will have detailed discussions with the children on mental and physical health, climate change and other concerns so that there is a constructive dialogue,” said Arora.

Tania Joshi, headmistress of the Indian school, said the institution would limit outdoor activities and run shorter classes.

“We’ll have classes between three and three and a half hours, so pollution shouldn’t be a big part of it right now. Parents are already a little worried about Covid-19, so I would say pollution is one of the factors [we are considering]. Due to the pandemic, pollution has taken a back seat to the pre-Covid era, ”Joshi said.

Public schools have also said they will limit physical activity to a minimum.

AK Jha, director of the Sarvodaya Vidyalaya Joint Government, Rohini, said if the pollution was widespread it might not have a major impact on attendance this year.

“I think the children will continue to attend school, especially at a time when classes have resumed after a long hiatus,” Jha said.

He said the students were ordered to wear long-sleeved shirts and consume “amla” every day. “Every year, I advise children to consume amla, so that they can stay healthy as pollution levels peak,” Jha said.

Mr. Shariq, director of the Specialized School of Excellence in Kalkaji, said a large number of students could join classes once the Chhath festivities end on November 10. He also said that games and other outdoor activities would not take place at the institution.


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