KUCHING, Sept 8: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Women believes that UPSR should be postponed in areas where air pollution index (API) exceeds 200 as stipulated by standard operating procedure (SOP) of the Education Ministry.
Its chief Kho Teck Wan said as the API readings in some districts passed the 200 mark, she was concern to hear that there will be no change on the UPSR examination schedules in Sarawak even if the haze condition has been expected to persist until next week.
“Although UPSR candidates will be advised to put on face mask, the reading of 200 and above is classified as very unhealthy.
“According to the standard operating procedure provided by the Ministry of Education, school in haze effected area should be closed immediately should the API reading exceeds 200.
“I therefore would like to raise my concern over the announcement made by the Ministry of Education to continue the UPSR exam should the API readings worsen,” said Kho in a statement yesterday.
She urged the Education Ministry to take extra precautionary efforts in handling the matter.
“I do understand the tremendous potential cost and efforts that the ministry may incur should the national exam be rescheduled. However, extra precautionary efforts should be made and shouldn’t limit to providing a face mask.
“Who should be responsible for the possible severe health problem or even loss of life should it happen during the exam due to the very unhealthy level of air pollution?” Kho asked.
Kho also sought clarification on whether the face masks distributed are respirators that can block harmful air particles.
“I would also like to inquire if the face masks distributed to Sarawak schools today (yesterday) are respirators that will protect wearer from harmful dust.
“Anak Sarawak are equally precious as any child in Malaysia, and I sincerely urge the Ministry of Education to plan rigorously should UPSR exam be carried out when API exceeds 200.
“I hope the Ministry make their decisions based on protecting the school children’s safely as their number one priority,” said Kho. — DayakDaily