JOHOR BARU: The Johor Education Department has closed down all schools and kindergartens in Pontian, Muar and Tangkak on Sunday (Sept 15) due to the haze.
The decision was made after the latest Air Pollutant Index (API) reading by the Environment Department (DoE) showed that air quality in the three districts was at the very unhealthy level.
State Education Department director Azman Adnan said the haze situation in Johor had forced the department to initially close down 211 schools in Muar and Tangkak, affecting more than 64,000 students.
The decision was later amended to include about 100 schools in Pontian as well.
He stressed that the Education Ministry has stated that if the API reading was more than 200, then all schools in the area or district should be closed down immediately.
“Based on the API reading, which recorded an increase, school sessions in the three districts will close on Sunday (Sept 15), based upon the ministry’s letter and National Haze Action Plan guidelines, as well as discussions with the DoE and the Muar and Tangkak district offices.
“For principals, headmasters and teachers, they must be present at schools and carry out their duties in line with the ministry’s guidelines on managing lessons and learning due to disaster, ” he said in a statement Saturday (Sept 14).
Fridays and Saturdays are the weekend in Johor, with Sunday a normal working day.
Azman also said the status of the school closures would be determined based on air quality monitoring.
“Information will be given to those that are involved based on the API, ” he said.
A check on the API readings on the DoE website showed an increase of API levels in the state.
As at 6pm Saturday, Tangkak is the worst hit with 205, Segamat (137), Larkin (132), Kluang (126), Batu Pahat (125), Pasir Gudang (91), Kota Tinggi (73), and Pengerang (73).
An API reading of between 0 and 50 is good; 51 to 100 (moderate); 101 to 200 (unhealthy); 201 to 300 (very unhealthy); and 301 and above is deemed hazardous.
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