New Delhi: The Ministry of Education Wednesday issued guidelines for schools to combat the intense heatwave raging across vast swathes of the country, asking institutes to begin classes early and restrict timings.
The India Meteorological Department has issued another warning for a heatwave in several parts, including Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and others for the next few days.
The guidelines issued by the Department of School Education and Literacy have specific instructions for school timings (all institutes should start from 7 am), transport, food and uniform. It has also given a list of do’s and don’ts for all schools.
The guidelines state that school buses should not be overcrowded and institutes should keep drinking water facilities inside vehicles.
Schools have also been asked to make arrangements for keeping students hydrated. “Schools should ensure availability of sufficient potable water at multiple places preferably at a temperature lower than that of surroundings. Water cooler/earthen pots (pitchers) may be used for providing cold water,” read the guidelines.
It also added that teachers should remind students to have water “in every period”.
Schools serving mid-day meals have been asked to serve fresh food. For those who get meals from home, schools have been advised to ask students to get food items that do not get stale.
Relaxed uniform norms
The advisory also said that students may be allowed to wear “loose and light coloured cotton dress”. Schools may also relax norms such as neckties and let students wear canvas instead of leather shoes.
Sachets of ORS solution, or salt and sugar solution to treat mild heat-stroke should be readily available in schools. Apart from these, schools have been asked to ensure quick access to the nearest hospital/clinic/doctor/nurse in case of a heatstroke.
Students, meanwhile, have been advised not to step out on an empty stomach or after consuming heavy food and avoid going out in the sun, especially in the afternoon if not required.
Residential schools have been asked to make sure essential medicines for common ailments related with the summer season should be available with the staff nurse.
“Students may be made aware regarding prevention of heat stroke; windows in the dormitories should be provided with curtains,” the guidelines read.
It also suggests including lemon, butter milk and seasonal fruits with high water content in the diet. Avoiding spicy food for children and “ensuring continuous availability of water and electricity in classrooms, hostels and dining hall” have also been suggested. Sports and games should be conducted in the evenings.
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