December 24, 2019: Aimed to address several health issues among the school kids, the government on December 23, Monday ordered all schools to adopt ‘water bell’ during morning and afternoon sessions and allow kids to drink enough water.
As per the fresh orders issued by the department of public instruction, kids in all schools affiliated to the state board will get 10-minute breaks, just to drink water.
The official circular sent to all district officials and schools suggested to have 10-minute breaks between the 2nd and 3rd periods in the morning and also between 3rd and 4th period in the afternoon.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister Suresh Kumar, after knowing about a similar initiative in the schools in other states, had announced on his Facebook page that Karnataka would follow a similar system soon to overcome various health issues among kids due to less consumption of water. A circular was issued on Dec 23, Monday, directing schools to comply with the new system.
Each school has to follow this without fail and ring water bell every day and ensure that kids consume water. The school authorities have been asked to ensure that safe drinking water facility is available in the schools.
The schools have been told to install pure water facilities, by taking the help of the respective Gram Panchayat/municipal council/school development and monitoring committee. For the benefit of those who have not carried water bottles from home, the school authorities should make necessary arrangements, like drinking water drums which come with taps.
Though several schools follows the United Nations guidelines of access for children to safe drinking water, there is no mechanism to monitor whether kids drink water or not.
The initiative came after Tourism and Kannada Culture Minister C T Ravi requested Suresh Kumar to adopt the Kerala model and implement ‘water bell’ in state schools through a tweet. Replying to Ravi’s tweet, Kumar promised to implement the same.