Schools in areas with 300 API reading must shut down

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PETALING JAYA (June 20): The Education Ministry has issued a notice to schools ordering them to immediately shut down their premises in areas where the Air Pollutant Index (API) is above 300.

Its director-general Tan Sri Abdul Ghafar Mahmud said such measures were to safeguard the health and safety of students.

It was issued in line with the cabinet decision made in August last year following amendments made to the National Haze Action Plan on steps to be taken by the ministry in schools located in critical haze-affected areas.

If the API reading is above 250, schools are advised to halt all outdoor and extra-curricular activities, while if it is above 150, the schools must prevent “high risk” students from taking part in outdoor activities.

“Students are advised to wear face masks, while schools must refer sick students to the nearest clinic or hospital,” Abdul Ghafar said in a statement today.

The state education departments and schools have also been directed to monitor the situation and be updated on the haze situation.

“The ministry has also set up an operations room to keep tabs on the phenomenon so that it can take the appropriate steps,” he said.

It was earlier revealed that a total of 211 secondary and primary schools in Muar, Johor – where a 383 API reading has been recorded – were closed today.

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