New Delhi: In view of air pollution in the national capital, the December winter break of all schools has been rescheduled and it will be now from November 9 to November 18, a circular from the Delhi Directorate of Education stated on Wednesday (November 8). Further orders for the remaining portion of winter break will be issued in due course of time, it stated. Holidays were earlier announced from November 3 to November 10 due to bad air quality. The circular stated,
In the wake of implementation of GRAP-IV measures due to severe air quality prevailing in Delhi and seeing that no respite from such adverse weather conditions in the near future is predicted by the IMO, the winter break for the session 2023-24 is ordered to be preponed so that schools can be totally closed and both children and teachers can stay at home. Accordingly, all schools shall observe winter break with effect from November 9, 2023, to November 18, 2023.
Reacting to the announcement, the principal of ITL public school, Sudha Acharya, said that scheduled school activities got hampered and several events had to be postponed because of it. Ms Acharya told PTI,
The whole school calendar is getting hampered because of this sudden announcement. But since this is a government order, we have to abide by it. The government thinks that shutting down school is the only option. Tests for classes 10 and 12 were supposed to be held from November 16, and the annual function was supposed to take place on November 24 but now we have postponed it all.
Urging the government to find a permanent solution to the pollution issue, Ms Acharya said they will rework their school calendar soon for next year and avoid keeping any event in November.
Sant Ram of Government School Teachers Association said while the order is fine from the students’ point of view as pollution would affect their health, it is also hampering their studies. Ram told PTI,
If we see this from students’ point of view, the order is a welcome step. However, the government should have planned it because shutting down schools means it will be an additional burden on teachers to finish the syllabus in a short period.
The air quality in Delhi and its suburbs dropped to the severe category again on Wednesday morning, with smoke from post-harvest paddy straw burning in neighbouring states accounting for one-third of the air pollution in the national capital.
The city’s air quality index stood at 421, worsening from 395 at 4 pm on Tuesday.
Despite a marginal dip, the concentration of PM2.5, fine particulate matter capable of penetrating deep into the respiratory system and triggering health problems, exceeded the government-prescribed safe limit of 60 micrograms per cubic metre by seven to eight times in the capital.
It was 30 to 40 times the healthy limit of 15 micrograms per cubic metre set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Several cities across the Indo-Gangetic plains reported hazardous air quality. Neighbouring Ghaziabad (382), Gurugram (370), Noida (348), Greater Noida (474), and Faridabad (396) also reported hazardous air quality.
According to data from the Decision Support System, a numerical model-based framework capable of identifying sources of particulate matter pollution in Delhi, stubble burning in neighbouring states, especially Punjab and Haryana, accounted for 37 per cent of the air pollution in Delhi on Tuesday. It is likely to be 33 per cent on Wednesday.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.