Malaysia makes school uniforms optional amid current hot spell
PETALING JAYA – Students and teachers in all schools and institutions under Malaysia’s Education Ministry (MOE) can attend classes in appropriate casual wear and sports attire during the current hot weather.
The ministry said in a statement that it always prioritises the welfare, health, and safety of students, teachers and administrators during the country’s hot spell and prolonged drought.
“Such hot weather can trigger harmful heatwaves that are detrimental to health.
“The ministry has agreed to give special permission to students, teachers and the administrative group in all education institutions under the ministry to wear decent clothes and sportswear during the hot weather to avoid any health complications.
“For students who wear school uniforms, wearing a necktie is also not mandatory,” it added.
Schools have also been instructed to constantly monitor weather conditions for immediate action to be taken to ensure the well-being of all involved.
According to the Guidelines for the Closure of Educational Institutions under the MOE during the Hot Weather dated April 28, 2023, schools are allowed to close if the hot weather is at level two warning with temperatures exceeding 37 deg C for three consecutive days.
Educational institutions, including schools, are also allowed to close if the Malaysian Meteorological Department declares a heatwave in their areas.
Based on the guidelines, all outdoor activities involving students, teachers and lecturers must be stopped if the heat reaches level one warning, with the highest temperature exceeding 35 to 37 deg C for three days in a row.
Among the outdoor activities that are not suitable to be carried out during this time are cross-country running, camping, parades, sports and agriculture.
Meanwhile, the Bernama news agency quoted a doctor cautioning that heat stroke was a risk for anyone exposed to an extremely hot environment, regardless of the person’s health.
Dr Norlen Ahmad said the elderly, children and those with chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as those who were obese, were at greater risk of a heat stroke.
“The elderly are more at risk because they usually have various diseases that make them more sensitive, and their mechanism of sweat production or body temperature control is no longer efficient,” she said on Bernama Radio’s Jendela Fikir programme on Wednesday.
According to Dr Norlen, heat stroke is a medical emergency that can happen quickly.
She said immediate steps must be taken to reduce body temperature to prevent the victim from experiencing more severe conditions such as brain function failure, convulsions and even death.
She said that among the immediate steps to be taken is to place a wet towel on the victim’s head, underarms, thighs and neck, in addition to moving the victim to a cooler place.
“Placing a wet towel on those parts of the body will speed up the process of heat transfer in the body and further reduce the body temperature,” Dr Norlen added.
She also said that the public should reduce physical activity in hot areas, drink more water, especially plain water, wear loose and thin clothing, and monitor the health of family members at risk.
Last week, an 11-year-old boy from Bachok in the northern state of Kelantan, died due to heat stroke and dehydration. - THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK