Stop blaming school, say parents

Stop blaming school, say parents
Tanjong Katong Primary School student Amal Ashley Lim, 12, (left), who survived the Mount Kinabalu earthquake. She is comforted by her mother, Mdam Farhan Darlan-Lim.
PHOTO: NP

No one could have expected the earthquake, and the school did everything it could after it happened, Madam Farhan Darlan-Lim said.

"There are unfounded comments by people that the school should not have taken the kids up the mountain. People are blaming the school and we parents are angry," she said.

"People say things like 'why didn't the school take the children to Bukit Timah?'.

"If they feel that Singapore kids shouldn't be climbing a mountain, they're demeaning the kids," said Madam Farhan, who has climbed Mount Kinabalu once, after she gave birth to Ashley.

She said that the Tanjong Katong Primary School (TKPS) pupils had been well-trained for the expedition.

"They have shown resilience and maturity that even we adults may not have. For example, after the tremors stopped, they were told by their teachers to walk to safety, not run. And they walked, even though they were scared."

'DOABLE'

Ashley's father, Mr John Lim, 44, a Fellow with the Institute of Policy Studies at Universiti Brunei Darussalam, said he has climbed Mount Kinabalu three times himself and that the climb is doable for 12-year-olds.

About Ashley taking her PSLE this year, he said: "We need to help her get over this hurdle first - this emotional trauma can last a long time. The timing is not in their favour. If (the children) get over this hurdle, they'll be stronger. I have faith in them."

He also said that the school and teachers have done the best for the children.

Madam Nur Uzaimah Fadzali, who was injured, has been discharged from hospital.

To the TKPS teachers, Mr Lim said: "Don't blame yourselves. You have done all that is humanly possible... We cannot ask any more of you."

There are unfounded comments by people that the school should not have taken the kids up the mountain. People are blaming the school and we parents are angry.

- Madam Farhan Darlan-Lim


This article was first published on June 14, 2015.
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