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Changing School Calendar Not Feasible

Changing School Calendar Not FeasibleChanging School Calendar Not Feasible

The idea of introducing school breaks during winter in the hope of curbing air pollution in Tehran and other major cities is not feasible, a member of the parliament said.

Hemayat Mirzadeh, the spokesman of Majlis Education and Research Commission, added that “changing the academic year’s schedules and periodical school closures will not be an effective solution to the problem”, Mehr News Agency reported.

With the vast increase in air pollution in Tehran and major cities during the cold season over the past years, the government and the Department of Environment have geared up to curb the problem. Several scenarios have been proposed to solve the problem, including the change in academic calendar.

Last year, the Department of Environment drafted a proposal imposing a winter break for schools across Iran. The proposal, which was initially approved by the Cabinet, suggested the school holidays be spread across the year to reduce traffic and air pollution in winter. It suggested that summer holidays be cut short to allow a winter break.

Although the scheme was rejected by the parliament, the topic was raised again following the heightened air pollution during the past weeks in Tehran.

The official noted that instead of changing the country’s academic schedules in major cities, the real polluting factors should be controlled.

“Shutting down schools will not help lessen the hazards of pollution since the megacity’s heavy air pollution does not originate solely from students’ transport. Nor will it reduce students' exposure to air pollution, as they would go out for other purposes anyway," he added.

Mirzadeh noted that a city like Tehran owes its high air pollution to industrial activities and substandard vehicles, urging the authorities to “come up with long-term plans”.

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