Haze Management Measures

The Ministry of Education (MOE) and schools have in place a school continuity plan to ensure the well-being of our students and staff during a haze situation. The Ministry and schools are ready to respond and take appropriate haze management measures based on the MOH health advisory (www.moh.gov.sg/haze) corresponding to the air quality (www.haze.gov.sg).

The well-being of all students remains a key priority. Teachers will be on the lookout for students who are unwell and students with pre-existing lung or heart conditions.

As children respond differently to haze, parents should ensure their children have their medication, such as inhalers for asthma, with them. Parents should also take their children to seek medical attention if they are unwell and ensure that their children take their medication to school or arrange for alternative care arrangements to care for them at home.

Continuity Plan for Primary & Secondary Schools (Including MOE Kindergartens and Voluntary Welfare Organisation (VWO)-Run Special Education (SPED) Schools)

Schools have in place a set of haze management plans and are ready to implement the appropriate haze management measures as required. A broad overview is provided below:

24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI)
Forecast
School Management Measures
≤100
(Good/Moderate)

Continue with normal activities1

101-200
(Unhealthy)
  • Schools will minimise prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion. 
  • Students with pre-existing lung or heart conditions or are unwell will be exempted from all prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion.
  • Students and staff who are unwell will be temporarily accommodated in an air-conditioned room with an air purifier, before they are taken to seek medical attention. Parents of these students will also be notified.
201-300
(Very Unhealthy)
  • Schools will minimise outdoor activities.  
  • Students with pre-existing lung or heart conditions or are unwell would be exempted from all outdoor activities.
  • Students, including those with pre-existing lung or heart conditions, will be in an enclosed indoor space with air purifiers2 deployed.
  • Students and staff who are unwell will be temporarily accommodated in an air-conditioned room with an air purifier, before they are taken to seek medical attention.  Parents of these students will also be notified.
> 300
(Hazardous)

If PSI reaches 'Hazardous' level during school hours:

  • Schools will avoid outdoor activities and scale down lessons.
  • Students, including those with pre-existing lung or heart conditions, will be in an enclosed indoor space with air purifiers deployed.
  • Students and staff who are unwell will be temporarily accommodated in an air-conditioned room with an air purifier, before they are taken to seek medical attention. Parents of these students will also be notified.

  1. While the health advisory provides general precautionary advice, each individual's reaction to pollutants may vary. The amount of physical activity or exertion that can be performed also differs according to an individual's health status or capacity. Persons who are feeling unwell, especially the elderly and children, and those with chronic lung or heart conditions, are advised to seek medical care.
  2. MOE will be deploying air purifiers to all school classrooms in 2016 to further enhance the well-being of our students and staff and better protect them from the effects of haze.

Explanatory Notes:
Prolonged = continuous exposure for several hours 
Strenuous = involving a lot of energy or effort
Minimise = do as little as possible
Avoid = do not do

 

Closure of Primary & Secondary Schools (Including MOE Kindergartens and VWO-Run SPED Schools)

The Ministry will consider closing schools when the air quality forecast for the next day is Hazardous (24-hour PSI>300). We will announce the closure of schools at around the same time that the health advisory is released. Schools will contact parents to inform them of school closure for students.

We seek parents’ and employers’ understanding that relatively short notice for any announcement of school closure could be given. We also wish to encourage parents to make advance care arrangements for their children for such an eventuality. Parents who are unable to make alternative care arrangements may continue to send their children to school, and teachers will supervise them. School-based care centres will continue to operate for their existing students.

Junior Colleges / Centralized Institute and Post-Secondary Education Institutions (PSEIs)

The Ministry works closely with junior colleges / centralized institute and PSEIs to ensure the well-being of their students. Junior colleges / centralized institute and PSEIs are ready to respond and take appropriate haze management measures based on the MOH health advisory corresponding to the air quality. If necessary, outdoor activities may be replaced with alternative indoor arrangements, postponed or cancelled.

The considerations for closure of these institutions are different as most of the teaching and learning takes place in enclosed indoor spaces, such as lecture theatres, and the students are older.

National Examinations

In the event of school closure, national examinations will be rescheduled. The announcement on the rescheduling of examinations would be made together with any announcement by MOE on school closure. School candidates will be informed through their schools. Private candidates will be informed by the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB).

When schools remain open and the national examinations proceed as scheduled, the safety and well-being of all examination candidates remain our top priority. Schools have made arrangements for all national examinations candidates to take their papers in enclosed spaces with air purifiers so that the examinations will not be disrupted should haze conditions worsen drastically during the period of the examination.

Candidates with underlying medical conditions or who feel unwell should seek medical attention. Those who are medically certified unwell and are unable to sit for the examinations should inform their schools. Private candidates should inform the SEAB through MOE’s Customer Service Hotline at 6872 2220. Hotline operating hours are 8 am to 6 pm on Mondays to Fridays, and 8 am to 1 pm on Saturdays. Processes are in place for dealing with candidates who are ill during the national examinations. The same procedure will be activated for students who are unable to take the examinations due to haze-related illnesses. We would like to assure all candidates that they would be fairly assessed under such unforeseen circumstances.