KOTA BARU: The Education Ministry will announce today whether schools in certain areas of the country will be closed due to the hot weather, even as the haze level continues to rise in the Klang Valley.
Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said his ministry was monitoring the hot weather situation and on Saturday, it was found that Kedah and Perlis recorded temperatures as high as 39.2°C.
The ministry will decide whether schools in certain areas should be closed if the temperature continues to rise above 39°C without any sign of dropping.
Speaking to reporters after attending a gathering with principals and headmasters of schools in Kelantan yesterday, Mahdzir said a special committee at the ministry level chaired by Education director-general Datuk Seri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof would make a decision on the closure of affected schools.
He said he had already issued a directive for all activities outside the classroom to be stopped due to the extremely hot weather.
Malaysia is now experiencing hot and dry weather caused by the El Nino phenomenon and the Malaysian Meteorological Department has predicted that the situation will only end in May or June.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Madius Tangau said the higher than usual temperatures were due to El Nino and not the March Equinox which occurred yesterday.
Yesterday’s Equinox event occurred when the sun shone directly over the Equator.
angau also attributed the haze in the Klang Valley to the dry weather, open burning and local bush fires.
On another matter, concerning a solution to the issue of married teachers living away from their spouses, Mahdzir said the ministry was resolving this in stages.
He said the issue was resolved for 2,000 teachers last year, and 560 teachers up to this month.
The ministry has received 7,000 applications for transfers from teachers who wished to stay close to their spouses, he added.
On the ban on watches being taken into examintaion halls by candidates taking the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) 2016 and the Malaysian University English Test, Mahdzir said he would seek a report on the matter from Malaysian Examination Council chief executive Dr Jamil Adimin.
Yesterday, Dr Jamil was reported as saying that the prohibition on wristwatches in examination halls was aimed at preventing misconduct by candidates. — Bernama
Sumber : The Star