Delhi primary schools to remain closed until November 10, online classes suggested for senior students
New Delhi, November 05: Due to escalating air pollution levels in the national capital, the Delhi government has extended the closure of all primary schools up to class 5 until November 10. However, schools for classes 6-12 are not mandated to close but are granted the option to conduct online classes.
Originally, the Delhi government had announced the closure of schools up to class 5 until November 5, but the continued deterioration of air quality has necessitated the extension.
As pollution levels continue to remain high, primary schools in Delhi will stay closed till 10th November.
For Grade 6-12, schools are being given the option of shifting to online classes. — Atishi (@AtishiAAP) November 5, 2023
Delhi's Education Minister, Atishi, stated, "As pollution levels continue to remain high, primary schools in Delhi will stay closed until 10th November. For Grade 6-12, schools are being given the option of shifting to online classes."
On Sunday morning, Delhi's air quality remained severely polluted with an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 460. A stifling smog of toxic air has persisted over Delhi, prompting concerns from healthcare professionals about the rising number of respiratory and eye-related ailments, particularly among children and the elderly.
Microscopic PM2.5 particles, known to have adverse health effects when inhaled, have reached levels seven to eight times higher than the government's permissible limit of 60 micrograms per cubic meter in various locations across Delhi-NCR in recent days. This concentration is 80 to 100 times higher than the World Health Organization's safe limit of 5 micrograms per cubic meter.
According to the central government's pollution control plan for Delhi-NCR, when the AQI surpasses 450, it becomes obligatory to enforce immediate air pollution control measures, including restricting the movement of polluting vehicles and halting construction activities.
The air quality in Delhi-NCR has deteriorated in the past week due to factors like decreasing temperatures, stagnant winds that hinder the dispersion of pollutants, and an increase in post-harvest burning of paddy stubble in Punjab and Haryana.
The AQI in Delhi increased by over 200 points between October 27 and November 3, reaching the "severe plus" category (above 450) on Friday, according to data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Although there was a slight improvement from an AQI of 468 on Friday at 4 pm to 413 on Saturday at 6 am, the 24-hour average AQI of 468 on Friday was the worst since November 12, 2021.
Delhi's air quality ranks among the poorest of capital cities globally, with a report from the University of Chicago indicating that air pollution reduces life expectancy by nearly 12 years.
- With inputs from agencies