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Students' outdoor activities to be controlled upon find dust level

Students' outdoor activities to be controlled upon find dust level

Posted April. 18, 2017 07:14,   

Updated April. 18, 2017 07:21


Outdoor activities of schools and kindergartens will be banned when the level of find dust is "bad" or worse without special reasons and schools should keep all the windows closed during the class under the same condition.

The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Environment announced on Monday that they would provide a training program for 20,000 school officials nationwide who are in charge of fine dust management from Tuesday to May 8.

The Education Ministry said complaints and petitions from parents of students are increasing as schools continue their outdoor activities even the number of days with high level of fine dust to the level of "bad" increases. The ministry plans to provide a training program for school officials who are responsible for the management of fine dust to inform the risk of fine dust and to take proper measures.

According to the Environment Ministry, the number of days with the alert level "bad" or worse nationwide reached seven days as of March this year, while the number was 10 last year.

“The Environment Ministry has advised schools to refrain from outdoor activities when the level of fine dust is above 'warning,'" the Education Ministry said. "However, the ministry decided to revise the manual to lower such level to ‘bad’ or to instruct schools to hold outdoor classes after taking safety measures such as wearing masks, if such activities are unavoidable.”

“Newly built schools are well equipped with air cleaning facilities but existing schools do not have such facilities," the ministry added. "It is difficult to provide measures to protect children from the exposure to fine dust in practice as it requires over 450 billion won each year to rent air purifiers to the entire schools in Korea.”

The Ministry of Health and Welfare that is responsible for daycare centers said the ministry has developed and managed a separate manual for high level of fine dust. According to the manual, all daycare centers should designate the director and other employees of centers as the person in charge of issuing warnings of fine dust and they are required to check the forecast frequently and urge children to refrain from outdoor activities when the concentration level is "bad" or worse.

The person in charge of managing fine dust for children should also identify infants and children with asthma or respiratory diseases in advance and be well aware of emergency measures. If a child shows such symptom, details should be recorded in an asthma note.

Woo-Sun Lim imsun@donga.com