First Covid, now smog: Delhi’s toxic air shuts schools in fresh setback for Indian pupils

Decision to close school has fuelled concerns that many students could drop out of the education system entirely, reports Namita Singh in Delhi

Monday 22 November 2021 16:38
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<p>Indian primary school students at their first day of school after Covid restrictions were eased earlier this month</p>

Indian primary school students at their first day of school after Covid restrictions were eased earlier this month

Indian teenager Arzina Khatun had been busy practising for her school’s sports day when the Delhi government ordered schools to shut for four days earlier this month.

Having just returned to class after a year-and-a-half of school closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 16-year-old’s disappointment turned to dismay when a further directive was issued last week.

As air pollution in the national capital soared to dangerous levels, cloaking the city in a thick blanket of smog, the Commission for Air Quality Management for Delhi ordered the closure of all educational institutions until further notice.

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