Yes as much as we like to say this is a natural disaster, this isn’t the first time an earthquake happened over the area! (With Google, you don’t need to be a Geography major to know this!) As such, expeditions should perhaps not have been organized for merely 12 years old to the climb at the mountain.
I read about a teachers article on how the disaster that happen is unpredictable and hence ask critics to hold back their comments ~ I have to but to disagree on his article and comments. Reason being this isn’t the first time MT Kinabalu experienced an earthquake. He further mentioned that the quakes that happened were less than Richter scale of 5 and hence doesn’t warrant any alarm.
Does he know Richter scale of 1 or less can cause a sense of giddy feeling even in Singapore office area at Raffles. (I bet he doesn’t know but at high levels we feel it and it’s feels you are losing balance) We adults are already affected at such small scale movements ~ What more for a 12 year old who is climbing up the mountain via those dangerous routes?
Besides a Richter scale of less than 5 ~ total of 16 events over past 20 years is recorded at the mountain ~ as such the place should be avoided by teachers and students alike and disapproved by MOE.
Yes we learnt an expensive lesson ~ and we have been lucky for the past times we been there. However for the writer whom wrote the article and claimed he studied geography, may I refer him to study and go through the past major events at the same mountain? Meaning from a geographer point of view, the existence of fault line is there and earthquakes can happen anytime! There is no absolute excuse to say nor for a primary school / MOE to take any chance cause a Richter scale of 3 might already cause small rocks to fall and that itself can cause injuries to a 12 year old on either the eyes or the head whilst climbing up.
So should schools avoid such areas going forward? Definitely! Cause the lives are not yours~ there is no amount of sorry that you can say that shall replace the lives of these little children.
We did not say the teachers are not doing their job. We do not say that the school is not trying their best. However more proper care should be taken to identify safe areas before trips are being organized.
And that itself perhaps teachers and schools involved can come out and apologize and acknowledge and ensure this doesn’t happen again; if not otherwise all teachers perhaps can just keep quiet. This is not the best time to rebulk the person scolding on the other end of the computer ~ reason being the person commenting might be a grandmother or aunt or cousin of someone whom have died in the earthquake.
So who are you all at this juncture to ask people to shut up? When something fundamentally must be wrong ~ and 7 young minor lives have been taken!
In this incident, it’s a pure luck that the said school / MOE had for the past 10 plus years that nothing has happened. Now we all learnt it the hardest way ~ hope this shall serve as a precious lesson to all parents friends as to do our own research on areas that schools planned and when to be firm and say NO to our kids on excursions.
If MOE doesn’t take any precautions, we shall then do our own research and make our own informed decisions.
Utimately the children at such age are minors and belong to no one but ourselves. They rely upon us to protect them. School after all is just an institution, teachers go to school to earn money as a living. So before we sign the paper to indemnify the school against all risks or death, we should consider twice.
Food for thought.
Thank you Jenny for this letter.
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