The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Admi Party (AAP) will hold a review meeting on the current pollution situation in the National capital. The meeting will include experts who will take a call on the reopening of schools, colleges, and other educational institutions.
Due to the rising air pollution, the national capital had shut schools, educational institutes as well as offices for a week. Even though the condition has improved in Delhi over the last week, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi was recorded at 280 (overall) on Wednesday morning which still marks it in the ‘poor’ category.
A group of 140 parents in the national capital has written to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal seeking his intervention for the reopening of schools. “After 20 months of closure, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority authorised the reopening of schools for all classes in Delhi at 50 per cent capacity, effective November 1. This coincided with the annual pollution cycle.
“Unfortunately, our children’s education was the first victim of the pollution response and school closures were announced on November 13 for one week. This has now been extended until further orders. While recognising the enormity of the pollution crisis and the risk it poses to our children’s health, we strongly urge the Delhi government to reconsider this decision and reopen schools,” the letter said.
Students studying in universities and colleges too demand a reopening. A group of students had launched an online protest seeking the reopening of the Delhi University. Students who had enrolled in the 2020 batch are yet to join colleges in the usual mode. By now, they are ready to move in the third year.
The Directorate of Education (DoE) announced on Sunday that schools in Delhi will remain closed for physical classes till further orders, while online classes and board exams will continue. The Delhi government had on November 13 announced the closure of schools and other educational institutions in view of the deteriorating air quality in Delhi. Schools had reopened for all classes from November 1, after nearly 19 months of closure due to COVID-19.
Not just Delhi, schools in Gurugram, Faridabad, Sonipat, and Jhajjar were also shut down last week due to the worsening air pollution levels. 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.