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Delhi: Parents unhappy with virtual learning during school closures due to pollution

November 8, 2023

Amid Delhi’s recurrent school closures due to pollution, parents voice concerns about the limitations of virtual learning compared to physical classes, urging the government to find a lasting solution. Some highlighted the unavailability of necessary equipment for online classes, suggesting advanced notice to students when air quality drops to avoid sudden shifts to virtual learning.

Parents express disappointment in the lack of effective online classes, citing concerns about the minimal sessions and inadequate communication. They emphasize that pollution cannot be addressed by keeping children at home and call for concrete government actions to avoid unnecessary holidays or reliance on online learning.

All Delhi schools, except for classes 10 and 12, have been directed to suspend physical classes until November 10 due to rising pollution levels. While there’s been a slight improvement in air quality, pollution levels remain considerably higher than safe limits set by government and WHO standards.

Parents stress the need for proactive communication from the government to schools about plans for dealing with rising pollution. They also advocate for measures to control stubble burning and suggest the formation of an environmental task force on a district level.

Delhi Parents’ Association recommends introducing a ‘pollution vacation’ within the yearly school holiday calendar to address recurring pollution-related school closures. Concerns are raised about the health impact on children, urging the government to implement anti-pollution measures more effectively.

Environmentalists emphasize the importance of exploring alternative solutions to tackle air pollution, rather than resorting to extreme measures like school closures. Addressing the root causes of pollution is seen as pivotal to ensuring a healthier environment, especially for vulnerable groups such as young children.

Also read: Air pollution puts children at risk of heart & other diseases

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