DoE plans to impart lessons on Yamuna pollution in school morning assemblies
Lessons on how the river Yamuna is getting polluted while passing through Delhi and its ill-effects could soon be imparted to students during morning assembly sessions in schools. The two-member Yamuna pollution monitoring committee has asked the education department to come up with an action plan on how such lessons could be imparted to school students. The education department, in turn, is now coming up with a circular to direct all schools. Training modules for teachers are also being prepared.
“Slides, pictures and Delhi specific photographs of sewage in drains, industrial effluent being discharged into the river are all available on the monitoring committee’s website. Specific parts of the website were asked to be downloaded and modified to suit the training needs of teachers so that the messages could be conveyed at the morning assemblies at schools,” stated the minutes of the meeting, which the committee held with the secretary of the education department on March 19.
Although the Yamuna river flows only for 54 km through Delhi, the 22 km stretch from Wazirabad to Okhla, which is less than two per cent of the 1,370 kmlong river — from Yamunotri to Allahabad — accounts for about 76% of pollution in the river.
Binay Bhushan, director of the Directorate of Education (DoE), said the department is drafting a circular, directing all government and private schools n the city to hold awareness programmes about rising pollution levels in the Yamuna for students. “We will follow the suggestions given during the recent meeting of the monitoring committee for Yamuna,” he said, adding that the DoE was already encouraging schools to impart lessons on river conservation.
Several government school principals said the DoE had, last year, asked them to hold discussion sessions to raise awareness about pollution in the Yamuna river among students. AK Jha, principal of co-ed Sarvodya Vidhyalaya in Rohini, said, “I had given a lecture on how plastic items and polythene are polluting the Yamuna. It is really good if the government is planning to intensify the awareness campaign in schools.”
Even though the department has submitted an initial action plan on how they plan to educate students, the committee has asked for a modification in the plan as it mainly spoke of general garbage disposal and lacked specificity on how the river was getting polluted.
“The focus of the programmes designed by the education department was related to general garbage disposal. The campaign for keeping the Yamuna clean needs to focus on the harm that was being done to the river by discharge of sewage and industrial effluent,” the meeting’s minutes stated.