SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Education (MOE) is prepared to shut down schools if the haze situation in Singapore reaches “hazardous” levels.
“As was the case in 2015, we will consider closing schools when the air quality forecast for the next day is ‘Hazardous’,” said MOE in a press release on Sunday (15 September), referring to Pollutants Standards Index (PS) readings of more than 300.
“In making any decision to close schools, MOE is mindful of the disruptions to families’ care arrangements for their child, and will take into consideration all available information, health advisories and forecasts from the relevant authorities regarding the next day’s haze situation,” the ministry added.
Should such school closures coincide with national examinations, the affected exams will be rescheduled and the examination period extended.
As of 4pm the 24-hour PSI readings across the island stood between 104 and 110, which is in the “unhealthy” range, according to the National Environment Agency’s haze microsite.
With schools set to reopen on Monday, MOE said it is “ready to respond and take appropriate haze management measures” to ensure students’ well-being.
All classrooms at primary and secondary schools, MOE Kindergartens and Special Education (SPED) schools have been equipped with air purifiers. Additionally, teachers will also be tasked to look out for students who are unwell, or have heart or lung conditions.
The ministry also advised parents to ensure that their children have their medication, such as their inhalers for those with asthma, on-hand while at school.
On Saturday, the haze levels in Singapore dipped into the “unhealthy” range for the first time since 2016.