As a chilling cold wave envelops northern India, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has issued a crucial directive to states, emphasizing the need to prioritize the well-being of school-going children. In a letter addressed to state education departments, the NCPCR urges authorities to take necessary precautions to prevent children from suffering either in schools or during their commute due to extreme weather conditions.
Reviewing calendars and timetables
As per The New Indian Express reports, NCPCR Chief Priyank Kanoongo has underscored the importance of reviewing school calendars and timetables in states experiencing severe cold weather conditions. He stated, "NCPCR, under section 13(1)(a) and (k), recommends reviewing school calendars and timetable and taking appropriate decisions keeping in view the weather conditions in the respective state/UTs, as exposure to cold weather may cause severe health implications for children."
The Commission stressed that the safety and security of children in schools are paramount, particularly during adverse weather conditions. Kanoongo further emphasized, "Children, being at a tender age, need proper care while in school and during travel."
School closures across North India
In response to the cold wave, several North Indian states, including Punjab, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh, have extended winter vacations for schoolchildren. Delhi, facing severe cold conditions, has announced the closure of schools until January 12 for students from nursery to Class 5, prompting many institutions to resort to online classes.
The India Meteorological Department's forecast indicates the persistence of intense cold wave conditions in multiple states across North India in the coming days. The NCPCR's proactive approach aims to mitigate potential health risks for children and ensure their safety during this challenging weather period. State and Union Territory governments are urged to consider these recommendations and make informed decisions for the well-being of students.