Pollution: Delhi-NCR schools to reopen from tomorrow in phases
Schools and colleges in Delhi and neighboring cities have been allowed to reopen in a phased manner from Saturday. The Delhi government announced the decision on Friday after receiving recommendations from the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM). Physical classes have been suspended for weeks due to poor air quality in the national capital city.
Why does it matter?
- The reopening comes just days ahead of the winter break.
- It has been announced citing improving air quality in Delhi.
- Further, students and parents have been urging the government to reopen schools saying closures due to the coronavirus pandemic and pollution have adversely impacted their studies.
- However, it also coincides with a rise in cases of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus.
Schools reopen tomorrow for Classes 6 and above
Now offline studies for school classes 6 and above, colleges, and other educational/training institutions can resume with immediate effect, the CAQM said on Friday. Meanwhile, schools for students up to classes 5 can reopen from December 27 after examining the air quality and the winter vacation schedule, the panel added. The order extends to all cities within the National Capital Region (NCR).
Schools shut for weeks over pollution
Schools and colleges in Delhi were ordered shut on November 15 on grounds of deteriorating air quality in the city. They were then reopened on November 29. But the government again ordered school closure a few days later after the Supreme Court questioned the administration's rationale for the decision. It said while adults were working from home, children had to step out.
Delhi's air quality sees slight improvement
The decision comes as air quality in Delhi has improved slightly, jumping from the "severe" category to "very poor." On Friday, the overall AQI in the city stood at 339. Separately, a layer of "shallow fog" was also reported by weather officials.