Thu, 23 Jan, 2020

For water the bell tolls

The decision of the Directorate of Education to give two compulsory water breaks to students during school hours, has brought smiles on the faces of children, parents and especially, doctors

01st December 2019, 02:37 Hrs


The direction to give two water breaks to students so that they may be reminded to drink water during school hours has recently come from the Department of Education and this unusual and unexpected circular has been come in place because a lot of students are getting dehydrated. Thankfully, the education department has taken a serious note of this and acted - students will be getting two minute water breaks after the second and sixth period, every day which will be indicated by a short bell.   

While the question still remains unanswered whether all schools in Goa are equipped with infrastructural facilities like drinking water and toilets, the decision still makes sense, as it will allow students drink enough water to keep themselves well hydrated. The medical community has expressed happiness towards this decision too. Children’s specialist from Margao, Dr Nilesh Usgaonkar has been giving health and hygiene related talks at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Canacona for the past 14 years, highlighting the importance of drinking water. “We all must know the role of water in keeping us hydrated, as 60 per cent of the body fluids are made of water and to keep the various systems in the body running, drinking water is must,” he quips.   

According to Dr Usgaonkar, the decision will save a lot of children from falling ill. Water is required for the body systems to run smooth. Circulation of blood and oxygen, digestion, lubrication of the joints, hydration of the brain and spine, processes like urination, sweating or even crying, for that matter, would need water. “Dehydration leads to constipation and urinary tract infections and renal/kidney stones. Sports lead to excessive sweating and the water level in the body has to be maintained,” shares Dr Usgaonkar.   

For teachers, it will be an additional task, as it may increase the pee breaks too. Kamal Fulary, a teacher for three-decades at Marina High School in Verna, agrees that when students go out on and off during teaching hours, it does disturb the class. “However, drinking water is good for health, as I have seen students not drinking water even after playing and we have to remind them to do so. This ‘water break’ concept is a positive step towards making children aware of the importance of water,” says Fulary, now retired.    

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