Schools to close on Friday due to unhealthy haze conditions

As haze conditions worsen, primary and secondary schools in Singapore will be closed on Friday (25 Sept). Ministry of Education (MOE) kindergartens and special education schools will also be closed, according to media reports. Singapore has been cloaked in haze for about three weeks.

At 9pm on Thursday, the 3-hour PSI reading hit 316, reaching hazardous levels. This is the first time readings went past the 300-mark this year. The National Environment Agency has said that the air quality could persist in the hazardous level within the next 24 hours.

Exams to be rescheduled

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat mentioned in media reports that national exams slated for Friday will be rescheduled.

The GCE ‘O’ level practical examination for Music, which would have originally been held on Friday, will now be rescheduled to 29 Sept. The affected students are being notified by schools, while private students are being notified by the examination boards.

However, parents who cannot make alternative care arrangements may continue to send their children to school, says MOE. School-based student care centres will also remain open. Teachers still need to go to school even though the schools would be closed.

Activities in childcare centres and kindergartens will also be scaled down.

Community clubs to open to public

Earlier, Minister Tan Chuan-Jin mentioned on Facebook that local Community Clubs will provide air-conditioned rooms to provide refuge from the haze. More masks will also be distributed for the needy and vulnerable. Eligible Singaporeans can each collect 2 masks from 108 community centres from Friday, between 10am and 10pm.

PSI readings have been steadily increasing since 6am today.

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Singaporeans have been urged not to panic or spread unverified information. The public has also been advised to look for updates via official channels, like the NEA website.

Plans have also been put in place to ensure that there is sufficient masks for bulk pruchases by companies with prolonged or strenuous outdoor work, says the Ministry of Trade and Industry. It also ensured that currently there is sufficient supply of masks with Dairy Farm Singapore, NTUC Fairprice and Unity Healthcare.

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With reference from The Straits Times
Featured Image via Twitter