MOE to progressively resume high-element outdoor activities for school programmes
SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Monday (Nov 28) that it will progressively resume outdoor activities involving high elements from Feb 1, with enhanced safety measures in place.
Such activities have been suspended since February 2021, after a 15-year-old student died following an incident at a camp programme in SAFRA Yishun.
A man was charged in relation to the student’s death for failing to ensure that both of the leg straps of the student’s safety harness were properly buckled and adjusted before dispatching the student onto the rope course.
“These activities … offer important educational benefits by allowing students to step outside their comfort zone, develop positive attributes such as self-confidence, teamwork and resilience, and strengthen trust and relationships with peers and teachers,” the ministry said.
MOE said on Monday that they have completed an internal review to enhance the safe delivery of height-based OAL activities.
“We have also worked with the Ministry of Community, Culture and Youth, the National Youth Council and industry partners to review and strengthen overall quality and safety standards in the outdoor adventure education sector,” it added.
ENHANCED SAFETY MEASURES
The ministry will implement enhanced safety measures to guide the resumption of height-based outdoor adventure learning (OAL) activities.
This includes requiring all operators offering height-based activities for MOE students to ensure that their facilities are regularly accredited by a National Sports Association or a regional outdoor adventure learning professional body.
This is to make sure that their facilities meet the safety standards for operation and training.
“Schools must only engage accredited operators and qualified instructors to conduct height-based OAL activities for their students,” MOE said.
Climbing and abseiling walls must be accredited annually, while challenge courses – which include zipline, high rope and obstacle courses that require belaying – must do so every three years.