A heatwave has sent the mercury soaring across India, with the temperature in New Delhi rising to 46 degrees centigrade.
On Thursday, India's Education Ministry issued guidelines for schools to combat the ill effects of the ongoing heatwave.
With India Meteorological Department (IMD) declaring a heatwave in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) from Friday, the guidelines say schools should reduce hours, relax uniform norms and restrict outdoor activities.
"School hours may start early and get over before noon. The timing may be from 7:00 a.m. local time onwards. The number of school hours per day may be reduced. Sports and other outdoor activities which expose students directly to the sunlight may be appropriately adjusted in the early morning," read the guidelines.
Authorities also define that sSchool assembly should be conducted in covered areas or classrooms with reduced timing. School buses and vans should not be overcrowded and there should be drinking water and first aid kit available in every vehicle. Teachers should remind students to sip water from their water bottles at regular intervals.
Now this is scary. The land surface temperatures in India are crazy. The heat wave is escalating to catastrophic levels. We can act now before it's too late. Yesterday the land surface temperatures was recorded as 62c/143f #ClimateAction #ClimateActionNow #ClimateCrisis pic.twitter.com/74TPGw9G53— Robert Meya (@MeyaRobert) May 5, 2022
Last month IMD said northwest and central India recorded the highest maximum temperatures for the month of April in 122 years. India, on average, also recorded its warmest March in 122 years. A heatwave had sent the mercury soaring across India, with the temperature in New Delhi rising to 46 degrees centigrade.
Students must be allowed to wear loose and light-colored cotton outfits. Children are advised not to carry their tiffins as the food might turn stale or get spoiled in the heat. Instead, it asked schools to provide hot-cooked and fresh meals under a government program.
Additionally, schools must be equipped with Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS) sachets and school staff should be trained to provide first aid to students in case of mild heat stroke.