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2022 School Closure: Pollution Forces Temporary Shutdown

School Closed Due To Pollution 2022

In 2022, a school was forced to shut down due to the detrimental effects of pollution. The alarming levels of pollutants in the surrounding environment posed significant health risks for students and staff alike. This unfortunate event highlights the pressing issue of pollution and its impact on educational institutions.

Children more vulnerable

It is not unfounded to worry about the safety of children. Studies have shown that they are more vulnerable to the impacts of air pollution. Being exposed to high levels of pollution before birth can lead to premature delivery and low birth weight. Additionally, infants and young children are particularly susceptible to the effects of air pollution due to their developing lungs and respiratory systems.

They also breathe twice as fast at this age, often through the mouth, leading to a higher intake of pollutants compared to adults. Their shorter height also plays a role in pollutant exposure , especially from sources like vehicle exhausts. The result of this disproportionate exposure is that 1 in 10 deaths among children under the age of five are attributed to air pollution, according to the World Health Organization.

The quality of education can be negatively impacted by air pollution, as indicated by a study released in October 2021. The research reveals that the ability to perform well in subjects like math and reading is hindered by increased exposure to fine particulate matter known as PM 2.5, which are tiny particles that can harm the lungs. Additionally, children who are exposed to air pollution may struggle to keep up with their appropriate grade level in academics.

In a photograph taken in November 2022, students can be seen arriving at a school in Noida. The credit for the picture goes to PTI.

Do school closures yield positive results?

The belief that children will have cleaner air to breathe at home is mostly incorrect. A research conducted in 2022 revealed that the air pollution inside households in Delhi is equally or even more severe than the pollution levels outside, particularly during winter. Surprisingly, both low-income and high-income households exhibited alarmingly high levels of PM2.5 pollutants during this season.

Although affluent households are more inclined to possess air purifiers, the levels of indoor air pollution in their homes were only slightly lower compared to less privileged households. Various factors can contribute to the presence of household air pollution, including activities like cooking and cleaning, the use of incense sticks within the house, as well as inadequate ventilation combined with outdoor air infiltration, heat, and humidity.

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In contrast, outdoor air tends to disperse pollutants more effectively. On the other hand, indoor spaces are at a higher risk of having concentrated pollution if there is no proper air purification or ventilation system in place, particularly during colder weather conditions.

School Shutdowns Due To Pollution 2022

School closures are detrimental for the development of children and online classes are a poor substitute , something even the Delhi Commission for Air Quality Management has acknowledged. Factors such as isolation from peers and teachers, poor supervision at home and the unpredictability of closures have adverse effects on children, their families, as well as school staff.

Children from lower-income households are disproportionately affected by the consequences of pollution. Unlike wealthier families, who can afford to seal their homes and improve indoor air quality, poorer families lack this option. This disparity further amplifies the negative effects of school closures and online classes, as supervision is inadequate and access to necessary tools for virtual learning remains unequal in such circumstances.

Air pollution does not serve as a means of equalizing society, but rather exacerbates the existing divide between households from varying socio-economic backgrounds. This contradicts the fundamental purpose of schools, which is to provide an equal educational platform for all students regardless of their backgrounds.

Kartavya Path in Delhi during October 2022. Photo credit: PTI.

Can we move past school closures?

In recent times, in addition to air pollution, various environmental elements like floods and heatwaves have caused additional disruptions to school routines. Over the past two years, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, schools in Delhi were closed for approximately 650 days.

The decision to close schools due to pollution is based on a questionable balance between the potential health benefits for children and the undeniable negative effects on their education and growth. Addressing air pollution is a multifaceted issue that demands a consistent and all-encompassing government action, which may require significant time to yield tangible results.

The main priority should be to work together as a region to minimize the amount of harmful air that children are exposed to in and around schools. Although it may not be an ideal solution, the truth is that most children cannot escape from polluted air. Ensuring that schools remain safe and operational will at least contribute towards creating a fair learning environment for all students.

First, mitigating sources near schools, such as industries, waste and biomass burning, road dust, and vehicular exhaust, should be prioritised. Designating areas around schools as clean air zones and restricting specific polluting activities within these zones must be considered.

Second, indoor air pollution in schools should be quantified by initiating indoor air quality monitoring. Although the National Green Tribunal directed the Central Pollution Control Board to establish regulations for indoor air quality nearly a year ago, progress updates are not publicly available.

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Setting up guidelines will allow for the installation of air quality sensors in educational institutions, raising consciousness and motivating measures like proper ventilation and air purification to reduce exposure. Schools that are unable to afford these remedies should receive financial assistance from the government.

Furthermore, in order to address the issue of exposure while traveling, educational institutions should promote the wearing of well-fitting and comfortable masks among students. It is also crucial to encourage the use of safe and dependable public transportation options like buses and metro trains. On the contrary, reliance on cars should be discouraged as their presence around school premises exacerbates the pollution problem.

However, a crucial query lingers: who will execute these actions, particularly when the current organizations are significantly understaffed?

To tackle the problem of air pollution and its impact on school closures, it is essential to develop a comprehensive plan that involves analyzing the issue, identifying its underlying causes, and strengthening institutional capabilities. This will require long-term strategic planning aimed at finding sustainable solutions for India.

If these measures are not taken, it will be extremely difficult to successfully decrease the amount of harmful air that children are exposed to.

Arunesh Karkun and Abinaya Sekar work as Senior Research Associates at the Sustainable Futures Collaborative, a think tank that focuses on studying climate change, energy transitions, and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are their own and do not represent any official stance.

The writers express their gratitude to Bhargav Krishna, Shibani Ghosh, and Sonali Verma for their valuable contributions in creating this article.

Air pollution, specifically smog, is a major issue in Delhi that poses a threat to the environment. The air quality in Delhi has been severely affected by pollution.

Are Delhi schools shut down because of pollution in 2022?

In 2022, the school faced an unfortunate closure due to severe pollution levels. On November 4th, the primary section of the school had to be shut down temporarily in order to protect the health and well-being of students and staff. This decision was made as a result of alarming air quality readings that posed significant risks to everyone on campus.

The closure in 2022 added to a growing trend of disruptions caused by pollution in recent years. In fact, Delhi experienced its longest-ever school closure due to air pollution just last year in 2021. The combination of Covid-19 restrictions and deteriorating air quality has created major challenges for educational institutions across India.

Schools in which Indian city have been closed because of air pollution?

Due to the severe levels of pollution in Delhi, the Environment Minister Gopal Rai has taken a drastic step by ordering all schools to remain closed until Friday. This decision comes as a response to the hazardous air quality that poses serious health risks for students and staff alike. In an effort to protect their well-being, offline classes will only be conducted for high school students.

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P.S: It is crucial for everyone living in Delhi to prioritize their health during this period of heightened pollution levels. Remember to stay indoors as much as possible and use masks or other protective gear when venturing outside. Additionally, keep track of official announcements regarding school closures and follow any guidelines provided by local authorities for your safety and well-being.

Are Delhi schools having an early winter break from November 9-18 because of air pollution?

The Delhi government on Wednesday announced an early winter break in schools from November 9 to 18 amid severe air pollution in the national capital. The Delhi government on Wednesday announced an early winter break in schools from November 9 to 18 amid severe air pollution in the national capital.

What does school pollution mean?

Air pollution in schools refers to the presence of harmful substances both inside and outside school premises where children learn, play, and participate in various activities. These pollutants can include things like dust, mold, and even dangerous gases like carbon monoxide. It is crucial to prioritize maintaining good air quality within schools to safeguard the health and well-being of students.

1. Air pollution in schools refers to harmful substances present indoors and outdoors.

2. Pollutants can range from dust and mold to toxic gases like carbon monoxide.

1. Air pollution poses a serious concern for Indian schools due to prevalent environmental issues.

2. Implementing measures like ventilation maintenance and using purifiers can help combat indoor pollutants.

3. Scheduling activities carefully during high-pollution periods or temporarily closing when needed are additional strategies that may be employed.

By prioritizing clean air within educational institutions across India, we can create healthier environments for our children where they can thrive academically while also staying safe from the detrimental effects of pollution on their overall well-being

Has pollution in Delhi been eliminated?

– The AQI in New Delhi indicates poor air quality, with high levels of PM2.5 particles.

– This alarming level of pollution poses significant health risks to residents in New Delhi.

– Breathing polluted air can lead to respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases, and other adverse health effects.

– It is crucial for authorities and individuals to take immediate action to address this issue and improve air quality in the city.

The Pollution Problem in Delhi

To address this ongoing problem effectively requires collaborative efforts between different stakeholders such as farmers, government bodies, environmental organizations, and local communities. Encouraging farmers to adopt sustainable agricultural practices that minimize residue burning can significantly reduce pollution levels during harvest seasons.

Furthermore, investing in advanced technology for waste management systems can help mitigate fires at landfills like Bhalswa by implementing proper waste segregation methods and promoting recycling initiatives. Additionally improving public transportation infrastructure along with encouraging shared mobility options can help reduce vehicular emissions which also contribute significantly to air pollution.