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MoE issues preventive guidelines for schools to combat ill-effects of heat-wave

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The guidelines include change in school timing and daily routine wherein school hours might start early and get over before noon with timing from 7 am onwards.

Ministry of Education (MoE) has issued guidelines regarding precautions to be followed by schools to combat ill-effects of heat-wave.

The guidelines include change in school timing and daily routine wherein school hours might start early and get over before noon with timing from 7 am onwards. Number of schools hours to be reduced, school assembly should be conducted in covered area or in classrooms with reduced timing and sports or other outdoor activities should be adjusted in early morning.

In terms of transportation, the guidelines include school bus or van should not be over-crowded and comprise of drinking water and first aid kit. Students coming to school on foot/bicycle should be advised to keep their head covered while 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.

The guidelines also advised students to carry their own water bottles, caps and umbrellas, school should ensure availability of sufficient potable water at multiple places preferably at temperature lower than that of surroundings. Water cooler orearthen pots (pitchers) could be used for providing cold water. In every period, teacher should remind students to sip water from their water bottles and also 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 might increase and schools should be prepared for it by keeping the washrooms hygienic and clean

Under food and meals, the schools should serve hot-cooked meals, canteens in schools should ensure that fresh and healthy food is served and children might be advised to have light food during lunch/tiffin. Additionally, school should ensure that all fans are functional and that all classrooms are properly ventilated and ensure availability of alternate power back up if possible. Curtains, blinds, newspaper could be used to stop the sunlight entering directly into the classroom.

Students should be allowed to wear loose and light coloured cotton material dress preferably full sleeves shirt while relaxing norms regarding uniform such as neck ties, canvas shoes could be allowed instead of leather shoes. Schools should have ORS solution or salt and sugar solution to treat mild heat-stroke should be readily available in the schools.

The guidelines also included do’s and don’ts for students, exam centres and residential schools.

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