Delhi pollution: Schools, parents welcome closure of physical classes

Several schools in Delhi-NCR and parents of students welcomed the government’s announcement of holding classes online for primary courses due to rising pollution and expressed hope that the authorities and people make concerted efforts to address the recurring problem.

Experts suggested that the government should modify the holiday schedule in schools as the pollution becomes severe in the winter season every year.

The Delhi government announced on Friday that primary schools in the national capital will remain closed from Saturday until further orders, while outdoor activities will be restricted for older classes amid worsening quality of the air in the city.

According to Pallavi Upadhyaya, Principal, Delhi Public School (DPS), Raj Nagar Extension, the school will conduct online classes during the period.

“We respect the decision taken by the authorities and we plan to hold classes online to ensure that there is no loss of learning for children. Teachers and students are already proficient and comfortable with online classes, so we do not expect no technical hurdle or error. Additional classes are already being conducted in the evening in online mode. So for us, logging into the classes will never be a hassle,” he said.

Bharati Chaturvedi, founder and director of Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group, said that the Graduated Response Action Plan (GRAP) was also implemented earlier and closing schools under the action plan is not novelty

“This happens every year, so why didn’t the Kejriwal government rework their holiday schedules? In the midst of all this, children’s education suffers and the most affected by these abrupt school closures are the underprivileged . Most of the kids in the slums don’t have access to online classes,” he said.

Anshu Mittal, Principal, MRG School, Rohini, believes that the air quality is declining noticeably and pollution is increasing to extreme levels.

“The situation called for the necessary measures to be taken and we understand the seriousness of the situation under which the announcement of the closure of primary schools has been made. Air pollution threatens to reduce people’s life expectancy and causes long-term respiratory problems and asthma. It was an urgent requirement to protect children and restrict their contact with a polluted atmosphere. We respect this decision and adhere to the guidelines,” he said.

The city continued to suffer eye pollution with air quality recorded in the “severe” category even on Friday.

Dense smog blanketed Delhi as the city’s air quality remained in the “severe” zone for the second consecutive day, mainly due to unfavorable weather conditions and agricultural fires in Punjab.

Shubhi Soni, Principal of Shri Ram Wonder Years (TSWY) School, believes that a student’s life is paramount.

“We fully understand the worsening levels of air pollution crisis that Delhi-NCR is currently facing. Until the air quality index improves to a good level, it is important to safeguard the health of students, and it is a wise call by the government to close primary classes for a while.We hope that the authorities and people in general make concerted efforts to reduce pollution levels and that the academic future of children is not compromised “, he said.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had recently asked the Delhi government to close schools until the city’s air quality improves.

In the wake of heavy pollution in the national capital, many schools have taken various measures to protect children, including suspending outdoor activities and introducing breathing exercises in classes.

Aparajitha Gautam, president of the Delhi Parents’ Association, said the closure of primary schools is a welcome step, but questioned why higher classes have not been suspended.

“Does the government think that these children will not suffer because of the poor air quality in Delhi? The impact of pollution has no age limit. Relief should have been given to students of all classes. A moreover, how long will the government continue with these temporary solutions?” he said.

Jyoti Arora, mother of the 5th grader, echoed her thoughts: β€œIt’s a good step considering the level of air pollution at the moment, but holiday schedules need to be looked at first . Pollution and subsequent closure of schools in Delhi is nothing new,” he said.

Alka Kapur, principal of Modern Public School, believes that the health of many is at stake with the toxic air exposed in the environment impairing their ability to inhale and affecting their lungs.

“Adhering to the decision, it is highly considered to take care of children in the primary section, as their immunity is not as strong as an adult’s, so it becomes more worrying for them to be exposed to such vulnerable conditions Online classes will begin as usual, and the schedule will be assigned to parents by school teachers.

“Simultaneously, keeping in mind the mental health of the children, we will provide counseling sessions, yoga sessions and awareness sessions. MPS has a health and wellness club that monitors, assesses and helps students in their healthy well-being,” he said. to say.

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