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If and when ‘air quality’ reaches critical levels, schools will be closed – MOE

The Ministry of Education said this would occur only if the PSI reading exceeded 300

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Schools will be closed if the air quality goes beyond a 300 PSI reading, declared the Ministry of Education (MOE) on Sunday (Sept 15).

As schools reopen today, following a week-long vacation, MOE assured parents that schools were “ready to respond and take appropriate haze management measures,” the agency said in a media release.

According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), a PSI reading of 50 and below denotes “good” air quality, “moderate” for 51-100 , “unhealthy” for 101-200, “very unhealthy” for 201-300 and “hazardous” above 300.

“As was the case in 2015, we will consider closing schools when the air quality forecast for the next day is ‘hazardous’,” said MOE.

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In late September 2015, primary and secondary schools were closed as the air quality  in Singapore was expected to enter the “hazardous” range. The GCE O level Music practical exam was also rescheduled due to the air quality conditions.

MOE said that all primary and secondary school classrooms, as well as its kindergartens and Special Education (SPED) schools, have been equipped with air purifiers “to enhance the well-being of students during a haze situation”.

“Teachers will also be on the lookout for students who are unwell or have pre-existing lung or heart conditions,” said Ministry authorities.

As a reminder, MOE directed parents to make sure that their children have their medication, such as inhalers for asthma, with them.

According to MOE, “In making any decision to close schools, MOE is mindful of the disruptions to families’ care arrangement 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.”

It added that if school closures coincided with national examinations such as the PSLE, the affected examination schedules will be rescheduled and the examination period extended. -/TISG

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