Worry over hot weather


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 06 Mar 2019

PETALING JAYA: While a weakened El Nino weather phenomenon has eased concerns over rising temperatures in the country, parents and teachers want school heads to heed the recent Education Ministry’s advisory to postpone outdoor activities.

National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Harry Tan said there are concerns among teachers that there may be some headmasters and principals who will ignore the advisory.

“Some schools may not want to defer their outdoor programmes such as their sports day as invitations have already been extended to VIPs to attend.

“In such cases, the school administrators must be made aware of the consequences which may follow should a mishap occur involving those participating in the programme,” he said yesterday.

El Nino is an irregular weather phenomenon that causes sea temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean to rise, bringing dry weather and higher temperatures to Malaysia.

According to the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia), a weak El Nino is forecast to occur and continue until May.

Tan said that headmasters should not take the advisory lightly as it was meant to ensure the well-being of teachers and students during the hot spell.

Education activist Mak Chee Kin noted the advisory did not clearly state that all outdoor curricular activities should be postponed temporarily.

“The advisory merely states that outdoor activities can be deferred if the weather gets too hot.

“This seems very vague and headmasters and principals are given the discretion on whether to cancel or postpone the outdoor activities,” he said.

Mak, who is chairman of the Melaka Action Group for Parents in Education (Magpie), said parents have been left confused as they assumed through recent media reports that headmasters must put on hold all outdoor activities.

In the ministry’s circular dated Feb 26, headmasters and principals were advised to keep tabs on the weather and to postpone all outdoor activities if the weather got too hot.

On Monday, MetMalaysia deputy director-general of operations Jailan Simon said the public should not be overly concerned about the hot and dry weather as it is a normal annual phenomenon that occurs between February and mid-April.

He said the start of the inter-monsoon period next month is expected to bring more rain and cooler temperatures.

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