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Jakarta Post

Islands in focus: Riau students get days off due to thick haze

The Jakarta Post
Pekanbaru   ●   Fri, August 28, 2015

The Siak regional administration in Riau has instructed students in the regency not to attend schools from Thursday to Saturday due to the declining quality of air in the region that has been brought about by thick haze from land and forest fires in province.

Siak Education Agency head Kadri Yafis said the policy had been taken to minimize the health impact of the haze on students.

'€œAll schools, from pre-school to senior high school, will be closed temporarily for three days, but teachers must still be at school as usual,'€ he said on Thursday.

Kadri said the local administration might also extend the policy should the air quality in the region remain at unhealthy levels by Aug. 31.

'€œHopefully, the haze will quickly disappear. If not, we will decide further,'€ he said.

Kadri also urged students not to go outdoors during the forced leave.'€œDon'€™t go outdoors and inhale haze that could be hazardous to health,'€ he said.

Parents, meanwhile, welcomed the policy although some of them complained that they had not been properly informed about the policy by school management.

'€œThere'€™s no official announcement [about the policy] and no one knows that today is an off day. This morning every parent sent their children to school but the children were asked to return home by teachers,'€ said Salman, a local resident and father of one.