Normally, Goa is always been on the forefront in implementing the new ideas first in the state. Goa is considered as model state in the country due to its small size and highly educated people but this time Goa has decided to follow the footstep of other states like Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu and issued the instructions to the schools across the state to ring a short bell twice during the school hours for a water drinking break for the student.

According to the reports, the direction in this regard will be issued to the class I to XII and it will be an application for Government, State Aided as well as Private Schools in the state of Goa.

The ‘water break’ will be of two minutes each, for which the bell will now go off after the second and sixth period (lecture) each day during school hours.

The Government is very serious about the health issues that children face due to dehydration and this step is taken to overcome that issue. The issue of dehydration is taken lightly by the people regardless of their age which is not good, said the sources.

Dehydration can lead to some severe health problems, and it’s important to ensure children don’t forget or delay drinking water. Good ideas can come from anywhere, and it’s heartening to see that the Goa education department has decided to quickly adopt the practice of water bells followed in other parts of the country. It will go a long way in inculcating a life long good habit in children, stated the report.     

“It has been observed that students in the school do not drink sufficient water, which results in dehydration, which in turn may have long-lasting effects on their health,” deputy director of education Shailesh Zingde said, in the circular issued on Wednesday. Zingde told TOI that the initiative was taken by the director of education Vandana Rao, who took a cue from other states that have introduced such a break.

Normally in the school duration of almost five and a half-hour, the students get only 15 mins to break for the tiffin and drinking water which is insufficient. The new instructions issued on Thursday will be applicable to special schools as well. ‘No restrictions preventing pupils from drinking water’     

According to Dr. Rufino Monteiro, Goa has a high instance of urinary tract infections and as the state also has a hot and humid climate, it is important to reinforce in children the need to drink sufficient water.    

“Only ringing a bell to remind students to drink water is not enough. It should be supplemented by teachers seeing to it that students bring enough water with them and there should also be adequate clean toilets so the students can also relieve themselves. Many a time, students do not want to drink water because there are no clean toilets available,” Monteiro said.

Meanwhile, some of the school headmasters have stated that there is no restriction on the students to drink water during the class even while the teacher is teaching. “At present, students are already drinking water between two periods. There is no restriction in any school on students drinking water while the teacher is teaching either. But, yes, teachers can actively encourage the drinking of water by students. It is essential for children’s health that they drink water at regular intervals. It will be good if the directorate of education now also includes the cost of water purifiers in the school maintenance grants allotted to institutions,” member of Goa school headmasters’ association Vithoba Dessai said.

Source: TOI

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