Delhi schools back in lockdown after Supreme Court slams gov't for reopening amidst severe air pollution

After the pandemic-induced lockdown, schools briefly reopened and then shut on November 13 due to Delhi's air quality. Schools were then reopened on November 29 and are now back in lockdown
Representational image | Picture: Express
Representational image | Picture: Express

The Delhi government, on December 2, announced the closure of all schools in the national capital 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 that physical classes in Delhi schools will be suspended from December 3 till further orders. The decision came after the Supreme Court, earlier in the day, pulled up the Delhi government for resuming physical classes in schools amidst a rise in the air pollution levels in the city.

"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.

Education Minister Manish Sisodia added, "All Board exams will be conducted as per schedule." After the year-long pandemic-induced lockdown on schools, they were briefly reopened but were again shut on November 13 as the air quality in the national capital severely deteriorated. Physical classes in schools, colleges and other educational institutions had just resumed on November 29.

Earlier in the day, the top court had asked, "When the government implemented work from home for adults (in light of severe air pollution), then why are children being forced to go to school?" The Chief Justice of India, NV Ramana, had said that the court will appoint an authority to oversee the government's air pollution controlling measures. The special bench was hearing a plea by a 17-year-old Delhi student in connection with severe air pollution in the capital.

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