Education Ministry Releases New Guidelines To Combat Heatwave

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New Delhi: The Ministry of Education on Wednesday issued guidelines to schools for combating heatwave, asking them to relax the uniform norms and modify timings.

A torrid heatwave had sent the mercury soaring across large swathes of India with the temperature in Delhi rising to 46 degrees Celsius.

The national capital also recorded its second hottest April in 72 years with a monthly average maximum temperature of 40.2 degrees Celsius.

  1. Modification in School timings and daily routine
  • School hours may start early and get over before noon. Timing may be from 7.00 AM onwards.
  • Number of school hours per day may be reduced.
  • Sports/other outdoor activities which expose students directly to the sunlight may be appropriately adjusted in the early morning.
  • School assembly should be conducted in covered area or in classrooms with reduced timing.
  • Similar care may be taken during dispersal after school is over.

2.         Transportation

  • School bus/van should not be over-crowded. It should not carry students more than the seating capacity.
  • Drinking water and first aid kit should be available in the bus/van.
  • Students coming to school on foot/bicycle should be advised to keep their head covered.
  • Parents should be sensitised to pick-up the students themselves, to the extent possible, to avoid public transport and minimise their time out in the sun.
  • School bus/van may be parked in a shaded area.

3.         Hydration

  • Students may be advised to carry their own water bottles, caps and umbrellas and use them when out in the open
  • School should ensure availability of sufficient potable water at multiple places preferably at temperature lower than that of surroundings.
  • Water cooler/earthen pots (pitchers) may be used for providing cold water.
  • In every period, teacher should remind students to sip water from their water bottles.
  • While going back home, schools must ensure that students are carrying water in their bottles.
  • Students should be made aware of the importance of proper hydration to combat the heat wave and advised to drink sufficient water at regular interval.
  • With increased hydration, use of washrooms may increase and schools should be prepared for it by keeping the washrooms hygienic and clean

4.         Food and Meals

PM POSHAN:

  • Heat can spoil food therefore hot-cooked meals under PM POSHAN must be served hot and fresh. In charge teacher may check the food before serving.
  • Children carrying tiffins may be advised not to carry food that can turn stale quickly.
  • Canteens in schools should ensure that fresh and healthy food is served.
  • Children may be advised to have light food during lunch/tiffin.

5.         Comfortable classroom

    • School should ensure that all fans are functional and that all classrooms are properly ventilated.
    • Availability of alternate power back up may be arranged, if possible.
    • Curtains/blinds/newspaper, etc. may be used to stop the sunlight entering directly into the classroom.
    • If any local traditional practices are being followed by the school to keep the surroundings cool such as ‘khus’ curtains, bamboo/jute chiks etc., they may be continued.

6.         Uniform

  • Students may be allowed to wear loose and light coloured cotton material dress.
  • Schools may relax norms regarding uniform such as neck ties.
  • Canvas shoes may be allowed instead of leather shoes.
  • Students may be advised to preferably wear full-sleeve shirt.

7.         First-Aid facilities

  • Sachets of ORS solution, or salt and sugar solution to treat mild heat-stroke should be readily available in the schools.
  • Teaching and non-teaching staff should be trained to provide first aid to students in case of mild heat-stroke
  • Schools must ensure quick access to nearest hospital/clinic/doctor/nurse, etc. in case of heatstroke.
    • Essential medical kits should be available in school.

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