A total of 259 schools in Malaysia were ordered to close on Monday (Apr 11) due to extreme heat as a result of the El Nino phenomenon.
The Malaysian Education Ministry in a statement on Sunday said the directive was a measure to safeguard students' health, as the temperature in the affected areas had readings above 37 degrees Celsius at a time, every day, and for more than 72 hours.
"This closure involves 259 schools, that is 68 secondary schools and 191 primary schools, while the number of students involved is 97,533, that is 91,862 primary and secondary school students and 5,671 students in pre-school," the statement said. This includes schools in Perlis, as well as in Jerantut and Temerloh in Pahang,
However, according to the ministry, the school closures involve only the absence of pupils, and the session need not be replaced. "The operation of the schools' administration, except for teaching and learning activities, must go on as usual," it said.
The ministry has also requested the education departments in Perlis and Pahang and the district education offices in Jerantut and Temerloh to conduct surveillance to ensure compliance with the directive.
"The ministry will also make announcements from time to time on any changes relating to the phenomenon," the statement said.
Meanwhile, the Community Development Department (Kemas) in a statement on its Facebook page said all Kemas kindergartens and nurseries in the three places would also be closed in line with the directive by the Education Ministry.
However, its said staff must turn up as usual.