Worried about their children’s health due to extreme heat, parents here have asked the Delhi government to either revise the school timings or advance the summer holidays.
Several schools have already announced reduction in outdoor activities in view of the sweltering heat coupled with the ongoing spike in the number of Covid cases. However, parents claim the school timings are not feasible for students to step out in this extreme heat.
The Haryana government on Monday announced that due to intense heatwave prevalent throughout the state, the timings of all schools — government and private –will be from 7 am to 12 pm for Classes 1 to 12 with effect from May 4.
However, no such measures have been announced in Delhi yet.
“On one side, the Centre advised not to go out in the sun, especially between 12 noon and 3 pm. But in Delhi, most of the schools timings are between 8 am-2 pm.
“Students reach home by 3 pm. That means during peak summer hours, students are out in the sun, which is really dangerous. We request Delhi government to either revise the school timings like other states are doing or pre-pone summer holidays,” said Aparajitha Gautam, President, Delhi Parents Association.
Amid the intense heatwave across the country, the Centre had last week urged states and Union Territories to review their health facility preparedness for availability of adequate quantities of essential medicines and necessary equipments while ensuring sufficient drinking water and continued functioning of cooling appliances in critical areas.
The Centre had also advised people to avoid getting out in the sun, especially between 12 noon and 3 pm, avoid strenuous activities when outside in the afternoon, avoid alcohol, tea, coffee, or drinks with large amount of sugar, stating these may lead to loss of more body fluid or cause stomach cramps.
The Centre had also advised people to avoid high protein food and stale food and not leave children or pets in parked vehicle.
“During previous years, whenever the temperature used to rise, the schools used to pre-pone summer vacations but that is not an option this year considering schools have reopened after a long period due to COVID.
“However, the heat is extreme this year and at least the schools can revise the timings for children to be less exposed,” said Nidhi Vaishnav, a parent.
Another parent Sunil Joshi, said, “My child’s school is offering flexibility in attendance but we don’t want to restrict children from going to school again as they are just getting into the groove. So, revision of school timings is the best solution in this case”.
A torrid heatwave has sent the mercury soaring across large swathes of the country with the temperature in Delhi rising up to 46 degrees Celsius. Delhi also recorded its second hottest April in 72 years with a monthly average maximum temperature of 40.2 degrees Celsius.
“Despite Covid cases rising in Delhi, I was sending both my kids to school because there has been lot of learning loss already.
“But how to cope with this heat. Kids are falling ill. The government should issue some advisory. At least the outdoor activities should be suspended,” said Neeru, a mother of two school going children.