Sabah quake: Site set up at Tanjong Katong Primary School for people to pen messages

Sabah quake: Site set up at Tanjong Katong Primary School for people to pen messages

SINGAPORE - Parents of pupils from Tanjong Katong Primary School (TKPS) have expressed their appreciation to the Ministry of Education for their efforts, said Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Indranee Rajah who met them on Sunday (June 7).

Ms Indranee, who was at the school to pen her condolences to families of the victims, said: "Teachers and staff of Tanjong Katong Primary School have been working round the clock in terms of providing to support to parents."

She also said that while parents whose children who went on the trip are relieved that they have made it back, they deeply grieved for those who did not come home.

The ministry has arranged for counsellors to help those affected by the incident, she said.

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong also visited the school on Sunday afternoon and penned a note.

On Sunday morning, the school set up a site for people to pen notes of hope for those still not found.

The site was set up at 9am and will remain open until Tuesday, June 9. It will be open from 8am to 5pm on Monday. On more than 10 tables covered with white cloth placed near the school's entrance, members of the public and alumni laid bouquets and wrote messages for the group which had been on a study trip to Mount Kinabalu when an earthquake struck on Friday.

"Our prayers go out to those who are still missing. Come home safe," read one note from a concerned parent and her child.

However, at 12.30pm on Sunday, the Education Ministry confirmed that the bodies of five more pupils and one teacher from the school had been identified. Their Singapore adventure travel guide also died in the earthquake.

On Saturday, it was confirmed that one pupil had died. One more pupil and one teacher are still listed as missing.

Gynaecologist Satya Tiwari, 50, made a trip to the school with her four children - all students at the school.

"The school is like our family. All the teachers are very professional and caring," said a tearful Dr Satya. Two of her daughters went on the annual Mount Kinabalu hike, in 2012 and 2013.

"This was a freak accident, it was unforeseen. When we heard the news our hearts were broken," she said.

From former TKPS student, Lee Yoo Jin, 17, who also went on a Mount Kinabalu trip as a student, said she knew the teacher who is missing, Mr Mohamed Ghazi.

"He's very fatherly, like a friend to us," said Ms Lee, who is studying at Victoria Junior College and visited TKPS at about noon on Sunday.

"I believe he's missing for a reason. He's really a dedicated teacher. On one of our school yearbooks I remember his quote was 'leave no man behind'."

This article was first published on June 7, 2015.
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