Worried over mosquito breeding on their premises since the onset of monsoon, the Social Service League School (CBSE) has asked students to wear full-length pants. From next month, students of the school in Parel will also get air-conditioned classrooms, so the windows can be kept shut.
The school, which is located next to the Elphinstone Bridge, has a fish market behind it. Mosquitoes breed in the water accumulated in the school playground. Authorities fear schoolchildren will suffer from vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue.
Apeksha Chaudhari, school principal, said a large number of students are falling ill because of mosquitoes. “Students are coming down with fever and some were even diagnosed with malaria. We don’t want the situation to worsen. So far, there has not been a case of dengue,” said Chaudhari, adding relaxing the rule could become a permanent measure to prevent mosquito bites.
“We are in the middle of purchasing air-conditioners. Once that is done, the problem will be solved. We are clearing the construction debris from repair work carried out on our school premises in the past,” she said.
Parents complained long pants are inconvenient during the monsoon. “My daughter wore a pair of jeans to school today, but its rim was covered in muck by the time she got home. I hope they come up with a fix for the mosquito problem soon,” said a parent, who did not wish to be named.
School chairman LP Sabnis said the low-lying area is prone to waterlogging. “Children used to complain about mosquito bites in class, so we asked them to wear full pants till we find a permanent solution,” he said.
The school contacted the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) authorities to fog their premises and chemicals were sprayed in water accumulated on the playground . Using mosquito repellant coils and sprays inside the classrooms, too, didn’t help.
“If we opt for a full-scale pest control, the school will have to be closed for 10 days. This will disrupt our academic calendar,” said Chaudhari.