The Delhi government today announced the closure of all Delhi schools till further orders because of an increase in the air pollution levels. However, board exams will continue as scheduled and teaching-learning activities will be conducted online. Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said physical classes in Delhi schools will be suspended from Friday till further orders.
The decision came after the Supreme Court on Thursday pulled up the Delhi government for resuming physical classes in schools amid a rise in the air pollution levels in the city.
On November 13, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that schools will be closed for a week so that students can be kept away from breathing the polluted air. The closure was extended beyond one week as the air quality in the city did not improve significantly.
On November 24, despite recording ‘very poor’ air quality, schools were allowed to reopen for physical classes. Parents had mixed reactions to the decision of the national capital government.
The Supreme Court of India on December 2 expressed dissatisfaction with the measures taken by the Delhi government to control air pollution. Pollution levels have increased in Delhi despite the state government claims, the top court said.
“We had reopened schools considering the forecast that air quality would improve. However, the air pollution levels have increased again and we have decided to shut schools from Friday till further orders,” Rai said.
Delhi’s air quality worsened sharply last month after Diwali. Farm fires were also cited as a source – but that led to debates and blame games. A month on, the city is still gasping for air.