By Gerrald Gilles

KUCHING: If the haze situation in Sarawak doesn’t improve, the Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) may be postponed.

The State Education Department (JPN) has instructed district education offices (PPDs) and schools to follow and comply with the circular and standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the Ministry of Education (MoE) early this year with regard to haze.

“Basically, all schools should be closed if the API reading is above 200, and the school’s principal or headmaster is empowered with the decision based on the latest API every day (6pm). They will inform the PPD and JPN on this decision on a daily basis,” its director Dr Azhar Ahmad said here yesterday.

“However, the students involved in public exams will still sit for the exams as long as the API reading does not exceed 300. Beyond 300, the MoE will decide (on the postponement of UPSR),” he added.

API levels have breached the 200 readings and in closer towards the 300 level. The lack of rain has also compounded the situation. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

Meanwhile, MoE has been told to take appropriate measures to ensure the health and safety of the students in critical areas.

Deputy Chief Registrar and Deputy Director-General of Education (Educational Operations) Shaari Osman said schools should stop all activities outside the classroom if the API reading exceeds 100.

He also said that if the API reading exceeded 200, all schools should close immediately.

Shaari said the principal or headmaster should ensure that the teachers perform their duties appropriately if the teachers are not on leave in accordance with the Guidelines for Teaching and Learning Management during Disaster.

“If the API reading exceeds 500, teachers and staff do not have to attend school. The schools must keep up to date with the media on haze phenomenon in their districts and territories.”

He also advised students to wear face masks and drink water regularly.

Shaari also stated that the schools should refer students to parents immediately if they are unwell.