Punjab government has officially announced that all government and private schools in major cities will remain closed for two days. This was decided during a meeting of the Education Department with Minister Murad Raas in the chair.
According to the Punjab School Education Department, all public and private schools in Lahore, Faisalabad, and Multan will remain closed due to widespread air pollution. Children have been advised to stay at home and avoid leaving their homes unnecessarily.
The situation seems to be getting out of control as this is the second time in a week that the provincial government has closed down schools in Lahore.
Why Does This Happen?
Crop burning on the Indian and Pakistani side of Punjab at the end of Kharif season produces a considerable amount of smoke which, due to dense air (in the winters), fails to escape the troposphere and remains trapped. When combined with other pollutants, this smoke transforms into smog.
This seasonal smog mostly affects cities close to the Indian border.
With no clear plan to deal with the smog, the provincial government is left with no choice but to minimize the children’s movement to keep them safe.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Education Minister had announced a ban on outdoor activities of school children until December 20th.
No outdoor activities in all Public & Private Schools of Punjab till December 20th, 2019 due to the Air Quality. Secondly, all children to wear air filter masks during School hours. Lastly, an awareness session on environment to be held in all schools. Notification Attached. pic.twitter.com/ZyXwJYckHo
— Murad Raas (@DrMuradPTI) November 13, 2019
He also made it mandatory for students to wear filter masks when traveling to and from schools.