KANNUR: A different bell will be heard when schools in the state reopen after the Covid-induced shutdown. The water bell will remind students, especially those in primary classes, to drink water at specific intervals. This is expected to bring down oral conditions and diseases in children by keeping them adequately hydrated. The dental diseases are reduced by the cleansing action due to water intake. The Directorate of General Education had issued an order in this regard last week.
CP Faizal, head of the department of paediatric and preventive dentistry, Kannur Dental College, Ancharakkandi, convinced the authorities to take a decision regarding this. Last Monday, Faizal received a letter from the Directorate of General Education informing him of the decision to implement the measure in schools.
“I have come across several instances of oral disease among school children. As I looked into the cases, it emerged that there is no proper cleaning of the mouth, besides the fact that the water intake was pretty limited. If the children were able to drink water regularly, the food remnants will be washed down. This is a global phenomenon as some studies in foreign countries too have pointed out that children suffer from dehydration since they don’t drink enough water while at school,” he said.
This will also result in health issues like urinary disease and constipation among children, which will have a bearing on their ability to concentrate on studies. Sensing the urgency of the matter, Faizal immediately wrote to the Directorate of General Education on January 18 this year.
“On September 13, I got a reply from the Directorate of General Education informing me that water bell will be introduced in schools once the Covid spread is over. Furthermore, it was revealed that headmasters and principals of schools were directed to ensure that children drink water at specific intervals,” said Faizal.
Since online classes are going on in the state, the teachers entrusted with the task will see to it that students drink sufficient water. In India, children above three spend most of the time in day care or school and the initiative is based on the UN guidelines that every child should have access to safe drinking water, Faizal added.