One Bangkok school has come up with a unique way to deal with the city’s ongoing air pollution problems, pushing the start of the school day to 9:30am so students can avoid commuting during the hours with, statistically, the worst air quality.
Traditionally starting at 8am, Plearnpattana School in the capital’s Thawi Watthana District changed their schedule to 9:30am-6pm, the hours in which the air quality is the best in the day.
Students who need to be dropped off earlier are being allowed to wait in the school’s library or auditorium, which have an air filtration system.
This shift was decided at a meeting with parents, teachers, and school administrators last week, reported Voice TV.
The school has also reportedly begun using industrial-strength air purifiers in open-air classrooms and introduced their own air quality measurement system, which they claim operates around the clock.
This isn’t the first Bangkok school that’s taken measures to protect their students from the ongoing pollution crisis. Just last week, two Bangkok schools — Sacred Heart Convent School and Chulalongkorn University Demonstration School — cancelled class for three days.
However, Plearnpattana School hopes their initiative will be more long-lasting than that.
So where do we stand now exactly? We’ve avoided the topic for a couple of days, but it’s time to once again talk smog as Bangkok’s Air Quality Index (AQI) rating inched back to toward “Unhealthy.”
The latest AQI index, from 10am today, shows Bangkok’s score at 171, which is only about 30 points away from the “very unhealthy” level.
That’s the level at which “everyone may begin to experience health effects.”
Children, adults, and people with respiratory disease should avoid prolonged outdoor exposure, AQI recommends.
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