Hwa Chong Institution's casual approach to warm weather
Hwa Chong Institution allows lower secondary students to wear T-shirts to school to combat warm weather
Lower secondary students at Hwa Chong Institution were allowed to dress down for class this week.
Some of those The New Paper (TNP) spoke to yesterday, said they were happy to be allowed to wear "school-approved" shirts to campus.
That meant dri-fit class T-shirts, physical education T-shirts and co-curricular activities shirts.
Secondary 1 student Lim Hong Wei said: "Wearing them feels much more comfortable than wearing the school uniform."
A school spokesman said the dress down was due to the warm weather.
The spokesman said: "This is to make the environment more comfortable for learning.
"We will continue to monitor the weather over the next few weeks. We have also reminded students to hydrate regularly and have adequate rest."
TNP understands that only lower secondary students were allowed to substitute their school uniforms as their classrooms are not air-conditioned.
But alumnus Ng Li Ren felt the change in dress code was unnecessary.
The 19-year-old, who is doing national service, said the lower secondary classrooms are cool enough.
He explained: "There are many fans in the classrooms to help cool the temperature.
"Besides, the lower secondary students are already wearing shorts."
But he added that the casual attire had its own advantages.
"Wearing the class T-shirts may help with class bonding."
Last month could rank among the top five warmest Februaries since records started in 1929, according to the Meteorological Service Singapore.
It said last Tuesday that the second half of this month is expected to be drier and warmer than the first two weeks.
The daily maximum temperatures are expected to range between 33 deg C and 34 deg C, and could reach a high of 36 deg C.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) has sent out a circular reminding schools to be mindful of the well-being of their teachers and students as they engage in outdoor physical activities.
"Teachers and students are encouraged to drink appropriate amount of fluids to prevent heat injuries, with appropriate rest and water breaks considered," said an MOE spokesman.
Dr Dana Elliot , 42 , a family physician at Lakeside Family Medicine Clinic, gave a few pointers on how to prevent heat injuries.
He said: "Besides adequate hydration, wearing light T-shirts made of cotton will help a lot."
Wearing caps and applying sunblock with an SPF 50 rating would also help reduce risks associated with the hot weather.
"If you're exercising and not acclimatised to high heat, it's important to have regular rest intervals in shady areas."
Around the world
Trainee cop Azizan Ayob, 23, was the first victim of the heatwave in Malaysia when he died last Friday of heat stroke.
Meanwhile, schools in northern Malaysia were ordered to close on Tuesday and Wednesday as temperatures reached 39.2 deg C.
On Wednesday, water levels at the Linggiu Reservoir in Johor, which forms the bulk of Singapore's water supply, went down to 42 per cent - only slightly higher than the historic low of 41 per cent last October.
MEKONG DELTA DROUGHTS
Vietnam and Thailand are suffering their worst droughts in years.
The Mekong River's water level has fallen to its lowest since 1926, prompting for the first time political pressure on China to release water from its dams in the upper reaches of the river.
Last Saturday, water gushed downstream from Jinghong hydropower station to places including the Nong Khai province in Thailand, where the river's water level rose by 27cm to 1.8m.
GREAT BARRIER REEF BLEACHING
Coral reefs in the Great Barrier Reef have been hit by the worst case of coral bleaching in 15 years.
Temperatures early this month were about 30.5 deg C - 4 deg C higher than normal.
ALARMING GLOBAL WARMING
The United Nations climate body and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) have warned of alarming and unprecedented rates of global warming.
The WMO said that last year was the hottest year on record. Ten of the hottest years recorded since 1880 have all occurred after 2000, except 1998.
- LAURA CHIA