Children’s health at stake in early-morning schools

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SummaryIn the wake of Class 3 student’s death in school, parents, experts say students get little time to sleep or have a proper breakfast due to present school timings.

The “sudden” death of a student in the school premises on Thursday has once again shifted the focus on their health. Earlier too two school students had met the same fate. While the cause of death of the Samruddhi Pawar who died on Thursday remains unknown, her family has said that she had no history of ailment.

Medical experts and parents said schools should focus on health of students instead of putting them under pressure by forcing them to come to school early in the day.

In the latest case, Samruddhi Pawar, a Class 4 student of Modern Primary High School on Ganeshkhind Road, died on Thursday morning after she collapsed in the school complaining of chest pain. In another case, a 14-year-old student of Warje-Malwadi had died while playing basketball on the school premises on June 20. He too had no known history of illness. About three years ago, a student of a Nigdi school died on the very first day of the academic year. The girl was not feeling well on that day. But she was made to attend the school that had threatened punishment to “any student who remains absent on first day”.

Gajanan Ekbote, chairman of Progressive Education Society that governs Modern School, said there was no negligence on the part of the school in Samruddhi’s case. “We called her parents and then took her to nearest private hospital. The hospital refused to admit her after which she was taken to Ratna Hospital. She died before treatment could start,” he said.

The Chatuhshrungi police said the cause of 10-year-old Samruddhi’s death could be ascertained once the post-mortem report is received.

Raghunath Pawar, uncle of deceased girl, said Samruddhi’s family does not want to blame anybody for death of their girl. “It was normal school day for her. We do not know what went wrong...We are clueless, in complete shock...” he said. He said the girl had left her home by 6.30 am after having milk and a few biscuits. “She used to go by rickshaw,” he said.

Supriya Naik, medical superintendent of Ratna Hospital, said schools need to be educated on how to treat paediatric emergencies. “Schools often come across paediatric emergencies which they do not know how to deal with. Measures should be taken to spread more awareness about the issue,” she said.

Health experts and parents said schools should review their early morning timing which are exerting pressure on the

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