Sunday, June 23, 2013
The authorities announced the closure of all schools in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Malacca, Segamat and Kuantan in Pahang today, in addition to those in Muar and Ledang.
However, schools in Pontian, Pasir Gudang, and Kota Tinggi in Johor, would resume its operations as usual.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel said the closure for KL and Selangor was as advised by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
He said he would ask Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh to take the necessary action.
"The haze situation was worsening as of 5pm and the schools are ordered to be closed as a precautionary measure since the bad air quality will affect the health of students," he said in a statement here yesterday.
Palanivel also advised parents to keep their children indoors and use face masks if they needed to go out.
In NEGRI SEMBILAN, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan announced schools in Port Dickson to be closed today after the API recorded at 295 yesterday.
"Since the API reading for PD has reached almost 300, all schools in the district including religious schools, kindergartens and pre-schools will be closed from tomorrow until the situation gets better," he said in a statement.
In MALACCA, the state government instructed all 313 primary and secondary schools plus all pre-schools, including Tadika Perpaduan, Kemas, to be closed starting today due to the haze.
Chief Minister Datuk Idris Haron said the Air Pollutant Index (API) in Malacca city had reached the hazardous level of 397 while Bukit Rambai recorded 456 as of 2pm, today.
"We were directed by the Education Ministry to close all schools and remain closed until further notice and I hope our children will not be allowed to leave the house as it may be detrimental to their health," he said after officiating the Urban Transformation Centre's (UTC) first anniversary here today.
Idris added that 25,000 face masks were distributed through the Malacca Education Department after receiving the consignment.
In KUANTAN, Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob ordered schools in the district and areas badly affected by the haze to close.
"It's dangerous for our children to go to school tomorrow," he said after the launch of the Sultan Ahmad Shah International Convention Centre, Zenith Hotel and Menara Zenith Putra Square, here, yesterday.
Meanwhile, Johor Education director Mohd Nor A Ghani announced 110 primary and secondary schools in Segamat have been ordered close tomorrow following the Air Pollutants Index (AP1) reading having reached the hazardous level of 400.
The closure order for 117 schools in Kluang and 175 schools in Baru Pahat, involving 134,872 students, has not been withdrawn, but the order has been extended to 171 primary and 40 secondary schools in Muar and Ledang following the haze emergency declaration for the two districts (Muar and Ledang) by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today.
A total of 76,400 students and 6,846 teachers are affected by the emergency declaration.
Mohd Nor, when contacted by reporters here, said 300 schools in Kota Tinggi, Pontian and Pasir Gudang, which were ordered to close because of the haze problem on Friday, would reopen today following a drop in the API readings for the three areas.
He said the district education offices and management of the schools concerned had been asked to inform parents or guardians on the development so that the 187,590 students affected could return to classes as normal.
However, he advised students with health problems like asthma to don face masks. He added that activities outside the classroom, however, were still banned for now.
Mohd Nor said the Air Pollutant Index (API) reading was below 150, in this three districts thus the students could resume lessons at their respective schools.
The Department of Environment (DOE) reported that the Air Pollutant Index (API) reading in Muar, which has been declared an emergency area, recorded a slight drop with a reading of 690 at 11am today, from 746 four hours earlier.
The API readings for Malacca City and Bukit Rambai in Malacca, which earlier recorded hazardous levels of 357 and 334 respectively, soared to 415 and 428.
States which have registered unhealthy API readings include the federal capital, Putrajaya, Selangor, Pahang, Negri Sembilan and Johor. The two areas categorised as having good air quality are Sandakan and Tawau in Sabah.