Based on inputs by Shahid Kazi
A few schools in Kerela have started ringing bells not only to indicate beginning and end of classes but also to remind students to drink water.
Headmistress Sheeba P D, of St Joseph’s Upper Primary School at Chelakkara in Thrissur distric said, “Students bring water from home and it is also available in school, but they are reluctant to drink water. Health problems such as urinary infection have been reported among students in the past and hence we started telling them to drink more water. We have noticed girls not drinking enough water so that they don’t need to go to the toilet.”
Physical Education teacher and former national-level handball player Jenil John said they came up with the idea of “water bell” to ensure that children drink an adequate quantity of water. “The water bell rings twice, at 11.15 am and at 2.45 am. Students have to compulsorily drink water either from their bottles or from the taps outside classrooms. When a bell reminds them, they drink water,” he said.
Jenil has submitted a proposal in this regard to state Education Minister Prof C Raveendranath. “This idea was debated in training sessions of school teachers. This year, several schools have implemented water bells,” he said.
Director of Public Instruction K Jeevan Babu said, “We have received information that some schools have come up with the idea of a water bell to remind children to drink water. But so far, the Education Department has not decided on whether to direct all schools to follow this. The issue has two sides — one side argues for drinking more water and another says one needs to drink water only when thirsty. We have to analyse the scenario before taking a decision.”