The extreme heat in the city, coupled with the continued spike in the number of Covid cases, has led schools in Delhi to reduce outdoor activities for students.
Schools in the nation’s capital have been operating completely offline and at full capacity since April 1. However, in less than a month the city is experiencing both – extreme heat conditions, with a maximum temperature well over 40 degrees Celsius persistently recorded and a spike in Covid cases, with the city recording 1,000 cases and more last week. These conditions push students into their classrooms and reduce their time outdoors.
“Our school is air-conditioned, so luckily we don’t have any issues when the kids are inside, and it’s not difficult to get them to keep their masks on. But we stopped all outdoor activities after 9:00 or 10:00. The students come at 7:45 a.m., then we make them do their outdoor exercises, games and swimming. Otherwise, the rest of their activities are all indoors. We have also stopped outdoor gatherings. We are currently holding a staggered assembly per class in the air-conditioned auditorium. When we need them for exams, we will hold assemblies on the public announcement system,” said Sudha Acharya, Principal of ITL Public School.
Jyoti Arora, principal of Mount Abu Public School, said she reduced outdoor activities even earlier when the town began to see a rise in Covid cases. “It was not ideal to have a lot of children outside, playing at the same time when the cases started to rise again. So, to be on the safe side, we have reduced the outdoor game slots to only once a week for each section. Instead of the whole class going out together, only one section comes out at a time. With the heat, we also try to limit time outdoors in the morning,” she said.
At Tagore International School, education counselor Madhulika Sen said the school has not reduced outdoor play time because children like to play outside and they become restless with long hours outdoors. class. However, even they have done away with the open-air assembly, which would mean standing for half an hour in the sun.
In public schools, short early morning class hours have meant that the opportunity for outdoor activities has not existed for some time now. With schools only having Mission Buniyaad classes from kindergarten to class IX and the start of board exams, public schools are currently running classes from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.