Guidelines for Schools: Many states have preponed summer vacations in view of the increasing heatwave, while in many other states the timings of schools have been changed. Parents are worried about their children’s health. In such a situation, the central government has given suggestions in 10 points on how the classes should be run in the schools amid the scorching heat.

Guidelines for Schools: Due to the scorching heat and heatwave, now studies in schools are becoming difficult. Many states, including West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, have preponed summer vacations due to the increasing heatwave. In Punjab and some states, the timings of schools have been changed so that there can be protected from heatstroke. Now, keeping in mind the health of their children, parents are requesting the state governments to hurry up the summer vacations. In such a situation, the Central Government has issued guidelines for the schools. These 10 points have suggested how schools should organize classes in the scorching heat.

1. Modification of school timings and daily routine:

  • The school hours can start early and end before noon. The timing can be from 7.00 am onwards.
  • The number of school hours per day can be reduced.
  • The morning hours can be adjusted for sports or other outdoor activities in the sun.
  • The school assembly should be completed in a short time and organized in classes.
  • Similar care can be taken during the dispersal after school is over.

2. Transport to and from the school:

  • The school bus/van should not be overcrowded. Students should not be carried more than their seating capacity.
  • Drinking water and a first aid kit should be available on the bus/van.
  • Students coming to school on foot/bicycle should be advised to cover their heads.
  • Parents should be sensitized to pick up students as much as possible to avoid public transport and minimize their time in the sun.
  • The school bus/van can be parked in the shade.

3. water system:

  • Students may be advised to bring their own water bottles, caps, and umbrellas and use them when out in the open.
  • The school should ensure that there is enough potable water available in many places that is generally somewhat cold.
  • A water cooler/earthen pot can be used to provide cold water.
  • In every class, the teacher should remind the children to drink water from their water bottles.
  • While going back home, schools must ensure that students are carrying water in their own bottles.
  • Students should be made aware of the importance of proper hydration to tackle heatwave and advised to drink enough water at regular intervals.
  • With drinking more water, the use of toilets can increase so schools should be prepared for this by keeping toilets clean.

4. Arrangement of Meals:

  • Heat can spoil the food, so hot cooked food should be served fresh under PM nutrition. The in-charge teacher must check the food before serving.
  • Children should be given such food in the tiffin which does not spoil quickly.
  • Canteens in schools must ensure that fresh and hot food is served.
  • Children may be advised to eat light food during lunch/tiffin.

5. Casual Classroom:

  • The school should ensure that all fans are working and all classrooms are properly ventilated.
  • If possible, arrangements can be made for the availability of alternative power backup.
  • Curtains/newspapers can be used to prevent sunlight from entering the orbit directly.
  • If any local traditional practices like ‘Khas’ curtains, bamboo/jute ki chik, etc. are being followed by the school to keep their surroundings cool, they can be continued.

6. Uniform:

  • Students may be permitted to wear loose and light-colored cotton clothes.
  • Schools may relax norms regarding uniforms such as neckties.
  • Canvas shoes may be permitted in place of leather shoes.
  • The students may be advised to wear full sleeve shirts.

7. Features of First Aid:

  • ORS solution or sachets of salt and sugar solution should be readily available in schools for the treatment of mild heat stroke.
  • Teaching and non-teaching staff should be trained to provide first aid to the students in case of mild heatstroke.
  • Schools should ensure quick access to the nearest Hospital/Clinic/Doctor/Nurse etc. in case of heatstroke.
  • The necessary medical kit should be available in the school.

8. Do’s and Don’ts for Students:

Do’s and Don’ts in the summertime should be displayed at prominent places in the school. These could include the following:

What to do:

  • Drink enough water – even when not thirsty.
  • To keep yourself hydrated, drink ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution), homemade drinks like lassi, Torani (rice water), lemonade, buttermilk, etc.
  • Wear light, light-colored, loose, cotton clothing.
  • Cover your head with clothes, a hat or umbrella, etc.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible.
  • If you feel faint or sick, see a doctor immediately.

what not to do:

  • Do not go out on an empty stomach or after a heavy meal.
  • Avoid going out in the sun, especially in the afternoon if it is not necessary.
  • Avoid doing hard work when you are out in the afternoon.
  • don’t go outside barefoot.
  • Don’t eat junk, stale or spicy food.

9. Instructions for Examination Centers:

  • Children may be allowed to bring their own transparent water bottle to the exam hall.
  • The examination centers should ensure the availability of potable drinking water which is easily available to the candidates at the centres.
  • The examination centers should ensure that there is immediate water supply to the candidates on their seats in the examination hall, if demanded.
  • Fans can be installed in the exam hall.
  • The place of drinking water at the examination center should be in a cool, shaded place.
  • In case of any emergency, the examination centers should be linked with local health workers and medical centers.

10. Residential School:

  • The staff nurse should have the necessary medicines available for common ailments related to the summer season.
  • Students can be made aware to protect against heatstroke.
  • There should be curtains on the windows in the dormitory.
  • Lemon, buttermilk, and seasonal fruits should be available in adequate quantity.
  • Spicy food must be avoided.
  • Continuous availability of water and electricity should be ensured in classrooms, hostels, and dining halls.
  • Sports activities etc. should be organized in the evening time.

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