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Seoul education board recommends delaying new semester amid hot weather

Aug. 15, 2018 - 15:04 By Jo He-rim
Amid the prolonged heat wave, Seoul’s education board has recommended all of the city’s elementary, middle and high schools to consider postponing the starting day of the upcoming school term.

The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education on Tuesday officially notified schools of its suggestion to adjust their academic calendars to protect students and faculty members from the risks of scorching weather.


“If a school operates shortened school hours or takes a day off, it should adjust the school calendar to complete the required number of school days,” the education office said.

The legally mandated number of school days is over 190 days a year for elementary, middle and high schools. As school calendars are usually planned with built-in margins, pushing back the start of the new semester for a couple of days would not cause difficulties for the schools. However, the schools are required to report the calendar adjustments to the education office.

In Korea, the first academic semester of the year commences in late February or early March, and the second semester starts in late August or early September.

There are a total of 1,365 schools in Seoul, consisting of 600 elementary schools, 385 middle schools, 320 high schools and 30 special schools.

On Wednesday, the day time high in Seoul stood at 36 degrees Celsius. As of 11 a.m., heat wave warnings had been issued for almost all parts of the country.

The Korea Meteorological Administration forecast that intense heat and tropical nights -- when the temperature stays above 25 degrees Celsius from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. the next day – will continue at least until Aug. 23.

By Jo He-rim (