Smog Forces Bangkok Schools To Close

Local schools in the Thai capital have been ordered to close for one day by the Ministry of Education due to air pollution – but most international schools remain open.
Smog Forces Bangkok Schools To Close
By Carli Allan
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Thailand's Ministry of Education has ordered more than 400 government-run schools in the city's 50 districts to suspend classes today (Wednesday) due to concerns about dangerous levels of smog. The majority of international schools in the Thai capital remain open while closely monitoring air quality levels.

Bangkok has been covered in a hazy smog for several weeks, and many residents of the city have been wearing protective pollution masks.

According to Air Visual, an independent online air quality index (AQI) monitor, Bangkok is recording AQI levels of up to 170 – a reading above 150 is classified as unhealthy; the city was ranked as having the world’s ninth worst air for a major city.

While 437 government schools in Bangkok have been ordered to close for one day, international schools are still open but are closely monitoring AQI levels.

St Andrews International School, Bangkok told parents: "As we continue to monitor the air quality situation in Bangkok, St Andrews International School Bangkok will remain open on Wednesday 22 January. Primary School children will go straight to class in the morning and if levels remain high, all outdoor activities throughout the day will be cancelled. We kindly ask you to check our communication channels (email and Facebook) for any updates."

St Andrews International School, Sukhumvit 107 posted on its Facebook page: "S107 is open as usual (Wednesday) – we will be operating our AQI policy as normal and making sure we continue to be a safe, happy and healthy place to be."

There is always a deterioration in Bangkok's air quality early in the year, which coincides with the annual sugarcane harvest; this normally runs from November to March.

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