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Schools warned over forthcoming extreme temperatures

Mom Kunthear  / Khmer Times Share:
Students eating pastries during a recess.                                              KT/Chor Sokunthea

Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron sent a directive to all municipal and provincial education department directors on Thursday, April 25, ordering them to shift school hours during the dry season.

“I want to inform all department directors that during the dry season of 2019 … temperatures can reach over 40 degrees [Celsius, or 105 Fahrenheit] – especially between 10am and 2pm”

To reduce the risks the heat wave presents to teachers and pupils – especially the younger ones, the ministry has proposed new school hours: morning classes will be held from 7 to 10:30, and afternoon classes from 1:30 to 5.

The minister went on, “Once the weather gets back to normal, all institutions will follow the existing schedule,” which is: morning sessions from 7 to 11, and afternoon sessions 1 to 5.

In Monday’s seminar on the Kingdom’s ability to meet global standards in e-learning, held by the National Assembly and the Education Ministry, the minister reported that his ministry is unable to equip all schools with fans or air-con, and asked for the cooperation from the guardians during the hot season.

The Labour Ministry also addressed the seasonal temperatures in its appeal from Friday. “In order to protect people’s health during the hot period … we remind all workers and company owners to follow the instructions released by relevant ministries.”

It is advised to drink as much water as possible, even without feeling thirsty; not to drink alcoholic or sugared beverages as they are diuretic – they cause the body to lose water; to avoid direct exposure to sunlight by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, or using an umbrella; and to apply ample sunscreen and wear thin airy clothes if one must go outside.

Phnom Penh city workers hose down a school yard to combat the heat. Photo: courtesy of DAP
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