Malaysia: Decision Tomorrow Whether Schools To Close For Extremely Hot Weather

Bernama 20 Mar 16;

KOTA BAHARU, March 20 (Bernama) -- The Education Ministry will decide tomorrow whether schools in certain areas will be closed due to the extremely hot weather, said its minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.

He said his ministry was monitoring the hot weather situation and yesterday, it was found that Kedah and Perlis recorded temperatures as high as 39.2 degrees Celsius.

"Today, we will look at the temperature situation in Kedah and Perlis and tomorrow we will decide whether schools in certain areas should be closed if the temperature continues to rise exceeding 39 degrees Celsius without any sign of dropping," he told reporters after attending a gathering with principals and headmasters of schools in Kelantan, here today.

Mahdzir said a special committee at the ministry level chaired by the Director-General of Education Datuk Seri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof would study and make a decision concerning the closure of the schools concerned.

He said his ministry was also getting information from time to time on the development concerning the extremely hot weather from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment as well as the Ministry of Science, Technologi and Innovations.

He said he had issued a directive for all activities outside the classroom to be stopped following the extremely hot weather.

Malaysia is now experiencing hot and dry weather caused by the El Nino phenomenon and the Malaysian Meteorological Department predicted that the situation will only end in May or June, with the hottest weather recorded today due to the equinox phenomenon.

Asked on the development concerning the solution to the problems of married teachers who were living apart from their spouses, Mahdzir said the ministry was resolving the problem in stages where the problems for 2,000 teachers had been resolved last year while up to this month, the problem for 560 teachers were solved.

He said the ministry had received 7,000 applications for transfers from teachers who wished to stay close to their spouses.

On candidates for the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) 2016 for the second term beginning in May and the Malaysian University English Test (MUET) for the July session, who were prohibited from bringing in the wristwatch into the examination hall, Mahdzir said he would seek a report on the matter from the chief executive of the Malaysian Examination Council, Dr Jamil Adimin.

Yesterday, Dr Jamil was reported as saying that the prohibition to bring in or wear the wristwatch in the hall and while sitting for the examination aimed to prevent cases of misconduct among the candidates.

-- BERNAMA


Parents keeping an eye on the mercury
The Star 21 Mar 16;

PETALING JAYA: Kids are set to return to school today after a one-week break, but parents are keeping a watchful eye on the heatwave.

And many will not wait for a directive from the Education Ministry to pull their children out from school if they feel it is getting too hot.

“If I feel the temperature is too high, I’m not going to send them to school,” said businessman Mark David Joseph, 40.

When the haze hit last year, Brian Ho, 42, didn’t wait for an emergency to be declared before he pulled daughter Vivienne, nine, from school for a few days.

“Some international schools have haze sensors that measure pollutants, and the information is shared among parents. I will also decide for myself when it comes to the heat,” he said.

In Alor Setar where it was hottest yesterday, one parent Tan Teng Teng, 46, said she would keep her son from school, SJK (C) Peng Min. The new school term started yesterday in Kedah.

“I want him to stay at home for one or two days, go back to school for a few days and then skip class again if the heat wave prolongs or get worse,” she said.

Tan said she has also told her son to increase his water intake and “I boil herbal drink for him and my other children”.

Houswife M. Kavitha, 40, is also monitoring the weather.

“She can stand the heat but I am really worried about the effect of the heat om her health,”

The school’s Parent and Teacher Association chairman Teh Kok Soo said air-conditioners installed in the school’s Year Five classroom would be switched on from 10.30am to 3pm daily.

In the Klang Valley, rain provided temporary respite from the blazing heat yesterday,with many parents deciding that their children would be going to school.

“Yesterday’s weather was not that hot,” said brand manager Darren Duarte, 44, adding that he would send his daughter Selena to school.

“But I will monitor the temperature, and if it rises, I will fetch her home even if there is no directive.”

Meanwhile, Government school teachers are not in favour of closing schools unless they receive official directives from the ministry.


All schools in Terengganu required to provide drinking water to students
The Star 20 Mar 16;

KUALA TERENGGANU: All schools in Terengganu are required to provide sufficient drinking water to students in the face of the hot weather caused by the El Nino phenomenon.

State Education Department (JPN) director Shafruddin Ali Hussain said the school session that began today went smoothly but measures will be implemented to avoid dehydration among students.

"The JPN also recommends that schools provide students with sponges and water to wipe the body as athletes do to prevent dehydration," he said.

He was speaking to reporters after officiating the starting of Form Six classes at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Sultan Sulaiman, here Sunday.

The department also suggested that schools do not conduct outside classroom activities for now to avoid direct exposure to sunlight, he added. - Bernama


Kelantan, Kedah and Johor schools to reopen today
New Straits Times 20 Mar 16;

KUALA LUMPUR: Schools in Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Johor will reopen and operate as usual today, the Education Ministry said yesterday.

However, the ministry said in a statement that outdoor activities should be suspended until further notice from the ministry or if weather conditions improved.

It said the state Education Department, District Education Office and schools had been advised to monitor students’ health by providing drinking water. “Schools should also encourage students to bring drinking water to school.

“Should there be complications due to the El Nino phenomenon, schools must contact the nearest clinic or hospital.

In this case, the District Education Office should discuss measures to take with the district health officer to prevent untoward incidences.

“Schools must comply with circulars and notifications issued by the Education Ministry.” The school session resumes today and tomorrow as the first term break ends.

In Kota Baru, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said any decision to close schools had to be made by four ministries, including the Education Ministry, through a national-level committee. The three other ministries are the Health, Science, Technology and Innovation and Natural Resources and Environment ministries.

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