Amidst heatwave, new advisory for Delhi schools: Reduced timings, relaxed uniform rules
New Delhi, May 12: The ministry of education has issued guidelines for schools asking them to relax uniform norms and restrict outdoor activities with the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) declaring a heatwave in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR).
"School hours may start early and get over before noon. The timing may be from 7.00 AM onwards. The number of school hours per day may be reduced. Sports and other outdoor activities which expose students directly to the sunlight may be appropriately adjusted in the early morning," the guidelines by the IMD said.
It further said that school assembly should be conducted in covered areas or classrooms with reduced timing. Similar care may be taken during dispersal after school is over.
The guidelines comes in the wake of the parents of children studying in Delhi schools requesting the government to either revise the timings or to advance summer holidays. Several states such as Punjab and Haryana have also changed school timings or announced an early summer break to protect children against the heatwave.
In Delhi due to the heatwave the mercury had soared with temperatures rising to 46 degree Celsius. School buses and vans should be overcrowded and must be parked in shaded areas, the guidelines said.
Drinking water and a first aid kit should be available in the vehicle and students walking or cycling to schools have been advised to keep their heads covered.
The ministry also recommended against the usage of public transport to minimise the exposure of children to the Sun. Children have been advised not to carry tiffins as the food may turn stale or get spoiled due to the heat. Instead hot food and fresh meals should be provided under the PM POSHAN.
Schools have been advised to remain equipped with Oral Rehydration System (ORS) sachets and essential medical kits. Teaching and non-teaching staff should have knowledge of the first aid kit, the advisory added.
The guidelines Siam that students may be allowed to wear loose and light coloured cotton material outfits and canvas shoes may be allowed instead of leather ones. Full sleeve shirt are also advised as it provides protection from UV rays the guidelines also said.
Classroom should be properly ventilated and curtains/blinds may be used to block the sunlight directly.
If schools follow local traditional practices of using "khus curtains, bamboo/jute chiks", then they may be continued. As for residential schools, windows in the dormitories should have curtains and constant availability of water and electricity must be provided on campus. The diet provided by the residential school should include lemon, buttermilk and seasonal fruits with high water content, the education ministry guidelines said.
Exam centre should allow students to bring their own transparent water bottles and ensure the availability of accessibly drinking water. Exam halls may be provided with fans and waiting areas should be covered with the provision of water, the advisory said.
The ministry advised students to drink enough water even if not thirsty and also consume lassi, 'torani' (rice water), ORS, lemon water to keep themselves hydrated. Students have also been advised against consumption of heavy, junk, stale, spicy food or going outside with an empty stomach.