Delhi Schools to Remain Closed Till Further Orders Due to Air Pollution

Schools in Delhi will remain shut till further orders due to severe air pollution levels in the capital, the Directorate of Education announced on Sunday. In the meantime, online education will continue like before, news agency ANI reported.

Schools had reopened on September 1 for classes 9 to 12 and for the remaining classes on November 1 but have been shut down since last week due to pollution. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had earlier announced the shutting down of schools in Delhi from November 15 and allowed only virtual classes due to the rising air pollution. Not just schools, offices were also asked to function in work from home mode. Besides, the government is also considering a complete lockdown if the situation worsens.

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The air quality in Delhi worsened since Diwali. As of November 21, the Air Quality Index (AQI) has been recorded at 349, which is “very poor”, tweeted CM Kejriwal.

Not just Delhi, schools in some parts of Haryana too have were shut down last week owing to the high level of air pollution. The Haryana government had closed schools in Gurugram, Faridabad, Sonipat, and Jhajjar. The Haryana government had reopened physical classes for students of 6 to 12 in July, classes 4 and 5 on September 1, and classes 1 to 3 from September 20 but announced the shutting down of schools for three days to air pollution.

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 Meanwhile, schools have reopened in most states across the country including West Bengal, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, etc. UNICEF had called for the urgent reopening of schools in India. “The future of an entire generation is at stake. We urge parents to come together with school administrations and the government to support the safe reopening of schools and learning recovery programmes to reach and benefit all children. Each of us has a role to play in improving learning recovery and opportunities for children in India,” UNICEF India Representative Yasumasa Kimura had said.

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