Singapore – The death of a 15-year-old student who fell from a height at Safra Yishun has resulted in all schools suspending outdoor activities involving heights.
This was announced by the Ministry of Education (MOE) after the boy’s death at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) on Thursday morning (Feb 4).
The Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) (ACS(I)) student lost his footing during a high-element activity on Wednesday (Feb 3) and was “suspended by the safety harness” in mid-air for some time, reported straiststimes.com quoting a police spokesman.
As the student was being lowered to the ground, he lost consciousness and was unresponsive when the police arrived on the scene. Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) paramedics tried to resuscitate the boy on-site. They applied an automated external defibrillator (AED) before taking him to the hospital.
School camps occasionally use high-element activities to boost student confidence. Activities include clearing obstacles at a height while wearing safety equipment such as harnesses, ropes and helmets.
The school activity in this instance was organised by Camelot, an outdoor adventure learning activity.
The instructors involved were questioned by the police. A Camelot spokesman said they would fully cooperate with the authorities.
According to preliminary investigations, there was no foul play involved.
“Together, we are working closely to give our fullest support to the family as well as the student’s classmates and teachers during this trying time,” said the MOE and ACS(I) in a joint statement.
“The safety of our students has always been a priority for us, and we are working with the police and relevant parties to investigate the incident.”
In a Facebook post on Thursday, the Outdoor Learning and Adventure Education Association honorary secretary Delane Lim said that the incident would “certainly impact our outdoor community significantly”.
However, “it also serves as a strong reminder for many of us in this industry to ensure professionalism, competency and skills recency among our instructors, whether full time or freelancers,” he added.
“It is time to take stock, review and revisit the processes in the various campsites and how to recruit, select and train our manpower.”/TISG
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