Delhi schools restrict extra curriculars, while Noida goes online.

Delhi schools restrict extra curriculars

The state governments of Delhi, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh are still considering closing schools until the air quality improves, despite Delhi’s air quality index (AQI) being just one notch shy of falling into the “severe plus” category and the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) ordering strict measures under stage 4 of the graded response action plan (Grap) in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) on Thursday.

For the time being, Delhi’s schools have taken it upon themselves to restrict outdoor physical activity and require kids to wear N95 masks. A few institutions have also shifted to online instruction.On Thursday, Delhi’s AQI was 450.

The Gautam Budh Nagar administration in neighbouring Noida has mandated that up till class 8 for all boards, only online classes would be held. Additionally, it has requested that schools suspend senior students’ in-person classes and limit their outside excursions.

“All schools have been requested to close until the eighth grade, but we are pleading with them to also cancel physical education lessons for older pupils. Ritu Maheshwari, the CEO of the Noida authority, who also serves as the district magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar, added, “We have also ensured greater water spraying, closure of industries, and stoppage of all development activity.

In the meantime, Haryana hasn’t decided whether to close Gurugram and Faridabad’s schools.

Following a meeting in Faridabad with representatives of the pollution control board, Nishant Kumar Yadav, deputy commissioner for Gurugram, stated that a decision about schools will be made on Friday. After a meeting with the pollution control board and the chief minister of Haryana on Friday, he declared, “We are aware of the rising pollution level and we will enforce guidelines under stage 4 of Grap.”

Manohar Lal Khattar, the chief minister of Haryana, stated on Thursday that the state’s pollution control board will decide on stage 4 measures following a seminar in Faridabad. “We will put the necessary rules into effect in the districts of Gurugram and Faridabad,” he declared.

The National Progressive School Conference (NPSC), which has more than 120 Delhi schools as members, including Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, Delhi Public Schools, and Amity International School, is chaired by Sudha Acharya, principal of ITL School, Dwarka. She announced that the school had stopped all outdoor and physical activity for students over the past few weeks. “We don’t host any outdoor events. Students’ whole physical activity programme has been relocated to the indoor gym. We are making sure that students correctly wear their masks. We have advised them to don N95 masks rather than cotton ones, according to Acharya.

She claimed that many parents oppose closing schools because of how pervasive pollution is. “Air purifiers are not found in every home. Nearly everywhere has poor air quality, even inside of dwellings. Since both parents are now employed, they prefer that kids stay in school, which is a more safer environment, said Acharya.

In light of the high levels of pollution, according to Bharat Arora, president of the Action Committee of Private Unaided Schools, a group of private schools, all outdoor and physical activities have been discontinued at his institution.

Before making a judgement about closing a school, Arora said, parents should be consulted. Since closure might not be the greatest option for all parties involved, Arora said, “We need to establish common ground.”The colder, heavier air tends to settle closer to the ground in the mornings; in the evenings, the heat from the sun helps trigger convection currents, which lift trapped pollutants higher in the atmosphere.

The issue is that pollution levels are at their worst in the morning when kids have to leave for school, according to Dr. Rakesh Bagdi, a paediatrician at Delhi’s Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital. Already, there has been an increase in infants with deteriorating pre-existing respiratory problems.

While the majority of institutions stated that they are awaiting guidance from the Delhi government, they also stated that online courses would still be offered in the event that schools closed.

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