(Picture from Channel News Asia)
Seven school children and two teachers from Tanjong Katong Primary School and Singapore guide died in the tragedy when an earthquake struck Mount Kinabalu.
During the parliament session yesterday, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat again extended his condolences to the families involved in the tragedy. He shared that earthquake experts say the quake came without any warning and the school was not able to take safety precaution measures to prevent the incident.
“ No matter how careful our schools may be in planning their overseas trips, events that are beyond our control and prediction may still occur whether natural disasters or not.”
“It does not matter if you were a child or an adult, an experienced or a novice climber , rocks as huge as a lorries were tumbling down the mountain during the earthquake. Depending on where the climbers were located at that point of time, some perished, others survived”
It is therefore encouraging to see that Singaporeans and MOE have taken this tragedy in their stride and chose to continue encouraging schools to take students on adventure learning trips.
The outdoors provides effective learning platforms that build confidence, adaptability and resilience and to omit this from the national education system would be the ultimate loss from this tragedy.
Singapore students will continue to remember this tragedy and reflect on the briefness of life on this earth. They will however use this experience and continue to reach even greater heights than ever before as they internalise the values they picked up participating in outdoor adventure .
“Never turn the blind eye. Leave no one behind” – Mr Ghazi, one of the two teachers who died protecting their students during the earthquake.
Source: The Straits Times