Height-based outdoor activities to stay suspended until MOE review

All height-based outdoor educational activities will remain suspended until a review by the Ministry of Education (MOE) is complete, Education Minister Lawrence Wong told Parliament yesterday.

MOE will share its findings and recommendations when the review is done.

He could not comment on the specifics of the incident on Feb 3 that led to the death of 15-year-old Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) student Jethro Puah, as the police are still investigating the cause of death.

Mr Wong was responding to Mr Vikram Nair (Sembawang GRC), who had asked for an update on the investigation and whether there were any lessons to be learnt to reduce the risk of serious accidents when students take part in higher-risk activities.

Mr Wong said Jethro and his class were involved in an activity at the adventure facility, operated by outdoor adventure learning company Camelot, in Safra Yishun.

"Let me express my deepest condolences to Jethro's parents, family members, and loved ones," he said.

Previous reports said Jethro had lost his footing during a high-element activity and lost consciousness while suspended by the safety harness in mid-air.

He died in Khoo Teck Puat Hospital the next morning. No foul play has been suggested.

Following the incident, MOE suspended all outdoor activities involving heights for all schools.

Several camp operators have signed a memorandum of understanding to pilot the use of body cameras in high-element outdoor activities.

Some schools planning outdoor camps for their students have also modified some of the activities. - THE STRAITS TIMES