BANGKOK — Western students have snow days off from school, Thai students have flood days, and now, days off from school due to smog.
Although not mandated by education officials, a few schools in the capital have canceled classes for the rest of the week for fear of students falling sick. Satit Chulalongkorn University School, located downtown, said it was canceling classes after some students had taken ill.
“Students from Kindergarten 1 through Grade 6 were found likely to fall ill in large numbers. We discussed with Bangkok public health officials and were recommended to close the school to curb the spread of illness,” the school said in a post to Facebook.
Satit Chula students well have Wednesday through Friday off.
“The three-day closure will allow the school to clean classrooms, equipment and other items,” the school wrote.
Closure has also been announced at the Roong Aroon School in west Bangkok’s Bang Khun Thian district. But staff answering the phone at both the Education Ministry and the Basic Education Commission Office said they were unaware how many schools had closed due to the smog.
The office presiding over primary through high school did release a warning to schools nationwide on Friday leaving it to administrators to decide whether to close or just halt outdoor activities.
The announcement also said teachers should be in charge of “school hygiene, researching, and creating student histories in the event that a child falls sick from the dust.”
Air quality levels Wednesday morning showed unhealthy levels in western Bangkok and provinces to the west including to Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, Samut Sakhon and Nakhon Pathom.
“We concluded that [enusing] health problems would affect students of all ages,” the school announced Tuesday night. “We recommend students stay inside to avoid the pollution.”