BANGKOK — The Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC) has granted permission to schools affected with high air pollution caused by PM 2.5 (particulate matter not more than 2.5 microns in diameter) to temporarily close for seven days, according to reports.
Amnat Wichayanuwat, the secretary-general at the Office of Basic Education Commission, ordered the Student Protection Centre, an affiliate of Obec, to work closely with regional education offices and schools in risky areas to monitor the PM2.5 situation closely, especially in Bangkok and its perimeter.
Amnat told The Nation that if the air quality in these areas plunges below the recommended standard, the schools should reduce or stop outdoor activities for students, or consider closing entirely until the situation improves.
The OBEC chief commissioner, however, said that schools should not close for more than seven days so that students’ learning is not disrupted, especially now that the ONET [Ordinary National Education Test] and the final exams of the second semester are coming close.
“Schools may consider opening on weekends, if necessary, to make up classes missed due to any closure,” he said.
Mr. Amnat added that OBEC has given surgical masks to all students in schools in risky areas for free, and also ordered schools to follow regulations to reduce PM2.5 problems in educational institutions as stated by the Ministry of Education since last year.
Source: The Nation
Photo: Minister of Education Nataphol Teepsuwan (Facebook page)