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Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019

As experts warn of worse air days, Delhi schools suspend classes

Scientists and weather experts said that low wind speed will continue to impact the national capital’s air quality till Thursday, with a possibility of the levels dipping further to reach ‘severe+’ category by tomorrow.

india Updated: Nov 13, 2019 13:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The air quality index (AQI) in Delhi was recorded at 454 (severe) at 11:30 am on Wednesday.
The air quality index (AQI) in Delhi was recorded at 454 (severe) at 11:30 am on Wednesday. (Photo: Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times file photo for representatioh)
         

As the pollution levels spiralled in Delhi, city schools are suspending classes and outdoor activities for primary students for the next two days, when the air quality is expected to deteriorate further.

Sanskriti School in Chanakyapuri on Wednesday issued a notice saying that classes Nursery to 2 will remain closed for the next two days. “Keeping in mind the rising and unsafe air quality levels in Delhi, classes Nursery to 2 will be closed on 14th and 15th November, 2019. Classes will resume on 18th November, 2019,” principal Richa Sharma Agnihotri said in the notice published on the website.

The air quality index (AQI) in Delhi was recorded at 454 (severe) at 11:30 am on Wednesday. Scientists and weather experts said that low wind speed will continue to impact the national capital’s air quality till Thursday, with a possibility of the levels dipping further to reach ‘severe+’ category by tomorrow. The change in wind direction from easterly to northwesterly in the last two days has also pushed toxic smoke from the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana, where crop stubble burning incidents are on a high.

Officials in other schools said that they too are considering suspension of classes for their primary sections. “It will be difficult for schools to suspend classes for senior students because their syllabus is yet to be completed. We can suspend classes for the junior wing. We will wait till evening for some orders from that DoE,” said principal of a private school in Rohini.

Amita Wattal, principal of Springdales School in Pusa road said that they are also waiting for the government’s order before taking any decision on the suspension of the classes.

Officials in the Directorate of Education (DoE) said that they were monitoring the situation. “We will discuss it with the education minister’s office and might come up with something by the evening. However, we have already barred outdoor activities in the schools and have distributed anti-pollution masks to the students as precautionary measures,” said a senior official, who wished not to be named.

The government had earlier directed schools to remain shut for four days from November 2 to November 5 when the air quality had touched its worst levels since November 2016.

The DoE had also advised all schools to suspend morning assemblies and outdoor activities. The Delhi government had also begun the distribution of 50 lakh anti-pollution N95 masks to students in government and private schools from November 1.