Pontianak plans to change school hours owing to haze

Pontianak plans to change school hours owing to haze

Thick haze blanketed Pontianak City in West Kalimantan at 6 a.m. in the morning on Sunday (August 11, 2019). (ANTARA/Andilala/YA)

Pontianak, W Kalimantan (ANTARA) - Mayor of Pontianak, West Kalimantan, Edi Rusdi Kamtono announced the local government's plan to temporarily change school working hours, without dismissing learning activities, in the city owing to the impact of haze arising from land and forest fires.

"We will continue to monitor the air condition in the city since it is still unstable due to haze occurring in the morning, afternoon, and night," Kamtono stated here on Monday.

He explained that the city’s air quality will first be assessed to determine the most ideal school hours. If some thick fog appears in the morning, then the school hours will possibly be postponed without dismissing the class, so teaching and learning activities can continue unhindered.

The Pontianak local government is also considering to reduce the learning hours in the city’s schools if the air quality is not yet favorable. Furthermore, if the air quality has been categorized as very unhealthy, then teaching and learning activities in schools will be temporarily stopped.

"The haze from land fire will not affect the city's educational activities, as it will certainly be highly detrimental to all of us," Kamtono noted.

He mentioned that the haze shrouding Pontianak chiefly sets in from the surrounding area outside the city.

The Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) of Pontianak City noted that the land fires arose in the city only at several points and were not big ones.

"The fires have already been extinguished. Most of this haze is coming from other areas of Kalimantan. We are optimistic of no more land fires," Kamtono remarked.

"I suggest people to reduce their outdoor activities for a while due to the current air condition," he noted.

The mayor also reminded Pontianak’s residents to wear a mask while conducting outdoor activities.

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