With the current haze situation worsening, all schools in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Negri Sembilan, and Malacca have been closed today.
According to a report by The Star Online, the announcement was made close to midnight yesterday. Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan said minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid conveyed the decision to him.
When asked if students need to return to school on Thursday (17th September), he said, “We will update when schools need to reopen, first thing in the morning.”
The school holidays are set to start this Saturday in all states and a day earlier in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu.
As at 6am this morning (15th September, Tuesday), 32 areas nationwide recorded unhealthy Air Pollutant Index (API) readings.
These included Banting (188), Nilai (181), Port Dickson (171), Seremban (177), Bukit Rambai (177), Port Klang (177), Putrajaya (179) and Batu Muda in Kuala Lumpur (188).
An API reading between 0 and 50 is considered good; 51 to 100, moderate; 101 to 200, unhealthy; 201 to 300, very unhealthy; and 301 and above, hazardous.
The Education Ministry has issued a statement urging schools to stop all activities outside the classrooms when the Air Pollutant Index (API) is more than 150. It also said that schools in areas with API of more than 200 must be closed.
In a separate report by The Star Online, the Meteorological Department, National Security Council, and the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) are moving in to begin cloud seeding operations today to bring relief to Klang Valley and Kuching. The department’s atmospheric science and cloud seeding division director Maznorizan Mohamad said the operation was targeted to start by noon today.