Schools in Jerantut and Temerloh in Pahang and Perlis will be closed today as temperatures in those areas have exceeded 37°C over a 72-hour period, says the Education Ministry. In a statement, the ministry said that the closure was a precautionary measure to safeguard the health of the over 100,000 pre-school, primary and secondary pupils in the state.

However, the ministry said that only pupils would be excused from attending classes, with no replacement school day required, but school staff would still have to be in school to carry out other duties that did not involve teaching. The ministry also directed the Perlis and Pahang education departments to ensure that the directive was adhered to, and also sought the cooperation of parents to monitor their children’s activity during the ongoing heat wave. The closure involved 259 schools (68 secondary and 191 primary) in all three areas with 97,533 pupils (91,862 secondary and primary, and 5,671 preschool).

The ministry also asked parents to monitor the movement and activities of their children during the closure. Meanwhile, Meteorological Department director-general Datuk Che Gayah Ismail shared that more showers and thunderstorms are forecast to cool down the current heatwave that has seen the mercury rising in various parts of the country – at least until the end of next month.

Che Gayah said the country had already entered the inter-monsoon season with more rains and thunderstorms in the afternoons, especially over the west coast states of the peninsula. “The inter-monsoon season is expected to last until mid or the end of May,” she said yesterday.