Kerala brings back ‘Water Bell’ to hydrate students in heat

The scheme was later adopted by Karnataka and Telangana governments.

| Updated: 20 February, 2024 2:55 pm IST
Kerala re-introduces ‘Water bell” scheme to ensure students stay hydrated to beat the scorching heat

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala education department has reinstated the ‘Water Bell’ scheme, aiming to ensure students remain adequately hydrated during class hours, especially amidst the scorching summer heat.

Originally introduced in 2019, Kerala was the pioneer state to implement this initiative in response to soaring temperatures during the summer months. The scheme was later adopted by Karnataka and Telangana governments.

Under this scheme, students will be granted two 5-minute breaks during the school day, allowing them to hydrate and mitigate heat-related risks such as headaches, fatigue, dehydration, and urinary tract infections.

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The system operates by ringing the school bell twice daily, at 10:30 am and 2:30 pm, serving as a reminder for students to consume water.

The inaugural implementation of the Water Bell scheme took place at Thiruvananthapuram Manakkad Karthika Tirunal Government School under the supervision of State Education Minister V Shivankutty.

“Dehydration and malaise are common in high temperatures. Even if students don’t feel thirsty, it’s crucial they drink plenty of water. To address this, the General Education Department has decided to reintroduce the Water Bell system in schools,” stated the minister.

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As part of this initiative, ensuring access to clean water is paramount. Special five-minute breaks at 10:30 am and 2:00 pm will be designated for students to drink water, facilitated by the ringing of the water bell. Additionally, schools must guarantee access to clean water for students who do not bring their own.

The General Education Department has issued a circular outlining these guidelines, which are to be implemented immediately. Recognising the importance of children’s physical and mental well-being, Minister V Shivankutty urged full cooperation with this project.

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