Mumbai: Schools worried as students asked to find mosquito larvae
The state education department has asked school students to search their neighbourhood for mosquito-breeding sites and hold rallies for a fortnight as part of a ‘dengue awareness campaign’, which starts from Monday.education Updated: Aug 01, 2016 15:52 IST
The Maharashtra education department has asked school students to search their neighbourhood for mosquito-breeding sites and hold rallies for a fortnight as part of a ‘dengue awareness campaign’, which starts from Monday.
Schools are worried whether it is safe to send the children into areas that could be infested with the disease-causing mosquitoes.
A circular issued on July 28 states that dengue is spreading unchecked across the state and hence students and teachers’ participation is needed to create awareness about the disease. The campaign is seeking the participation of students of Classes 5 to 12 in schools and junior colleges.
Schools said that some aspects of the campaign could expose children to danger. “Students have been asked to find places where mosquitoes have laid their eggs and larvae are hatched. This is dangerous as students run the risk of getting bitten themselves,” said Father Francis Swamy, principal, St Mary’s School (ICSE), Mazgaon.
Teachers also said it will not be possible to conduct rallies during the monsoon. “There are potholes and uncovered manholes and hence it is not the best time to carry out a rally with students,” said Rajesh Pandya, teacher, Fatimadevi English High School.
They added that schools will be busy with their first unit tests in the first and second week of August. “Students definitely need to be educated on vector-borne infections such as dengue but instead of conducting a campaign, it should be included in the school syllabus,” said Pandya.
Education officials said that they hope all schools will take part in the campaign but it is not compulsory. “It will be extremely beneficial for the students and so we expect a majority of the schools will observe the campaign,” said BB Chavan, deputy director of education, Mumbai region.
He added that they can conduct even a few activities from the programme as well. “We understand that owing to the rains, it will not be possible for schools to hold rallies so they can choose any activity at their level,” he said.