Haze: Muar’s 200 schools to close temporarily from today’s afternoon session

The Star, 20 Jun 2013

JOHOR BARU: All afternoon session schools in Muar have been directed to temporarily close following hazardous air pollutant index (API) readings recorded in the area on Thursday.

State education director Mohd Nor A. Ghani said that the API reading had touched 337 and a directive had been issued for schools to close if the reading surpassed 300.

He said, however, that students in the morning session would not be allowed to return home until the session was formally over.

“We do not want students to be left unattended and leaving school without their parents so we have directed for lessons to continue as usual.

“Schools in the area, however, have been told not to conduct any outdoor activities,” he said when contacted.

He added that about 200 primary and secondary schools in Muar have been given a directive to close if the API readings reached more than 300.

“Most of the schools that are badly hit are along the coastline but we have given the authority to the schools themselves to decide based on the API readings,” he said.

He added that so far, there has been no directive for schools to close in other areas in the state.

According to the Deparment of Environment website, other areas which have recorded high API readings include Kota Tinggi (211), Pasir Gudang (190) and Larkin Lama (171).