The Karnataka Department of primary and secondary education has issued a circular suggesting to adopt the ‘Water-bell’ concept which would require students to take a 10-minute interval between classes to drink water in order to overcome health issues common in children.
According to an official, the circular distributed to all district officials and schools on Monday requires students to take intervals between the second and the third period in the morning and between the third and the fourth period.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Karnataka Associated Management of Schools general secretary Shashi Kumar, said, “The concept is good, but many schools don’t have proper washroom facilities, hence students drink less water to avoid the washroom. When the government will introduce the water bell concept, they will have to make sure schools will also provide washroom facilities and drinking water facilities with good infrastructure.”
Following a similar initiative launched in Kerala last month, Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister Suresh Kumar directed the schools to provide safe drinking water facilities on the campus, like installing RO plants through the help of the respective Gram Panchayat/municipal council/school development and monitoring committee.
A survey by the Association of Primary Education (APER) and Research, which launched the #ringthebellforwater campaign, recently revealed that 68 per cent of children bring back full water bottles indicating they do not drink water during school hours.
The Water Bell initiative is an initiative adopted by schools to ensure children drink water at specific intervals during the day to keep them hydrated. So far, 53 schools across Delhi, Pune and Bangalore have reportedly introduced this concept, following Kerala’s footsteps
The ‘Water bell’ is based on the United Nations guidelines that cites every child should have access to safe drinking water. A survey revealed that most children skip drinking water at school to avoid using the toilet, which in most cases is dirty. This further increases the need for proper sanitation to be practiced in schools.
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