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Published: Thursday June 20, 2013 MYT 7:30:00 AM
Updated: Friday July 12, 2013 MYT 1:34:26 PM

Haze: Schools have discretion to close when air quality turns hazardous, says Education DG

PETALING JAYA: Schools have the discretion to close immediately once the Air Pollutant Index (API) reading reaches the hazardous level.

Education Ministry director-general Tan Sri Abd Ghafar Mahmud said Thursday the National Haze Action Plan had been amended to allow the Education Ministry to take the necessary action to safeguard the health of the students in areas affected by the haze.

“The school authorities have to constantly monitor the haze situation by checking the API reading available on the Department of Environment website,” Abd Ghafar said in a statement on Thursday.

He added that schools in areas with API reading exceeding 300 (hazardous level) have to be closed immediately, he added.

“If the API reading is more than 250, the school authorites have to stop all co-curricular and outdoor activities.

“The school authorities also have to cease all outdoor activities involving high-risk students who may be affected by the haze once the API reading is higher than 150,” said Abd Ghafar.

He advised students to wear nasal mask and drink a lot of water.

“The school authorities have to send students who have fallen ill to the clinic or hospital nearby.

“Parents who are concerned about the health of their children are given permission to take their children out of the school as long as the school is informed,” said Abd Ghafar.

About 200 primary and secondary schools in Muar have been given a directive to close on Thursday and Friday in view of the API reading that touched 337 in the area on Thursday.

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Tags / Keywords: Haze, School, air, quality

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