Relax uniform norms, modify timings: Education Ministry's 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.

The guidelines by the Ministry of Education asked the schools to modify timings and reduce the number of school hours each day.

Schools may relax norms about uniforms and canvas shoes may be allowed instead of leather ones, it stated.

The ministry also said that schools should ensure that fans are functional and also may arrange for power backup.

Revising school timings, restricting outdoor activities, stocking ORS and glucose sachets, and constantly motivating children to stay hydrated are among the steps schools are taking because of the heatwave conditions in the national capital region.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had earlier this week said a fresh spell of heatwave is likely to begin over northwest India from May 7 and over central India from May 8.

However, closing schools due to heatwave is not an option as suggested by experts as offline classes have started from the new session after nearly two years due to the Covid-induced pandemic.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on May 5 chaired a meeting to review preparations for heatwave management and monsoon preparedness in which he stressed the need to take all measures to avoid deaths due to heatwave or fire incidents.

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