A headmaster has been suspended in China after more than 400 pupils were forced to sit an exam in an outdoor playground during toxic pollution, media reported.
China is currently experiencing its most severe “airpocalypse” of the year, with smog readings more than 30 times above safe limits forcing dozens of cities to close schools as they try to keep children indoors.
But at the Number One Middle School in Linzhou, in central China’s Henan province, a full day of outdoor exams was held on Monday, reports said.
Images posted online showed rows of students, who were not wearing smog masks, leaning over exam tables on a playing field, with visibility so bad pupils on the third row could barely be seen.
The headmaster of the school, who was named as Feng Jisheng, reportedly said the English, maths, Chinese and PE exams were arranged when the pollution levels were still low.
China Youth news website said in a later report that he had been suspended.
“The education and sports bureau in Linzhou city decided to…remove Feng Jisheng from his post as schoolmaster,” the website said.
“An investigation will be launched into the incident. The bureau also demands all daycare centers, primary and middle schools to learn from this, reflect deeply to ensure the safety of students.”
Beijing warned a week ago that a heavy bout of smog was expected, and issued a ‘red alert’, which involves closing factories, shutting schools, and also forcing a large proportion of cars off the road.
Many other cities and towns across China issued warnings after a toxic haze began blanketing almost half a billion people across large swathes of the country from last Saturday.
Source: [The Telegraph]