You are here: Home » Current Affairs » News » National
Business Standard

Group of parents write to Delhi LG seeking reopening of schools

The Delhi government had on November 13 announced closure of schools and other educational institutions in view of the deteriorating air quality

Topics
Delhi | Delhi government | air pollution

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

schools
Masks are mandatory in schools to contain COVID-19 spread and masking will reduce exposure to air pollution, the parents asserted

A group of 140 parents in the capital has written to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal seeking his intervention for reopening of schools that were closed due to deteriorating air quality.

In the letter, the parents have said that schools were already closed for a longer period due to COVID-19 and while construction and other activities have been allowed keeping in mind weather-related changes that have resulted in minor improvements in AQI, "children and their education be given equal attention, in fact greater, priority".

"India has the distinction of implementing one of the world's longest school closures. After 20 months of closure, the Disaster Management Authority authorised the reopening of schools for all classes in at 50 per cent capacity, effective November 1. This coincided with the annual pollution cycle.

"Unfortunately, our children's education was the first victim of the pollution response and school closures were announced on November 13 for one week. This has now been extended until further orders. While recognising the enormity of the pollution crisis and the risk it poses to our children's health, we strongly urge the government to reconsider this decision and reopen schools," the letter said.

The parents' group noted that since schools are authorised to operate at 50 per cent capacity in hybrid mode, the extent of potential transport on the roads has been reduced, thus reducing any public health benefits of closing schools.

"Further, hybrid nature of schooling offers parents with alternative modes of protection to make a choice about sending their children to schools. Majority of schoolgoing children do not have access to methods of protection against such as air purifiers," it said.

Consequently, school closure presents no significant health benefits to most school goingchildren in Delhi, most of whom have suffered significantly from the one of the longest pandemic-induced school closures in the world, it said.

Masks are mandatory in schools to contain COVID-19 spread and masking will reduce exposure to air pollution, parents asserted.

"Primary schools have now been closed for almost 21 months. There is a large body of evidence that highlights the importance of early years in the formation of human capital. The long-term closure of primary schools is having a significant detrimental impact on the learning of our young children. It is, thus, imperative that we must prioritise opening of primary schools.

"Keeping in mind these realities, we urge that schools be allowed to open. The hybrid model at 5 per cent capacity will ensure parental choice and address the public health concern of vehicular pollution," it said.

The Directorate of Education (DoE) announced on Sunday that schools in Delhi will remain closed for physical classes till further orders, while online classes and board exams will continue.

The had on November 13 announced closure of schools and other educational institutions in view of the deteriorating air quality in Delhi.

Schools had reopened for all classes from November 1, after nearly 19 months of closure due to COVID-19.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Wed, November 24 2021. 02:21 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.