Ensure pupils have swimming, water-safety skills

My deepest condolences go out to the family of the 12-year-old schoolboy who drowned while swimming off East Coast Park (Do more to equip youth with swimming skills: Tharman; May 10).

According to the boy's family, he did not know how to swim. His former primary schoolmates said this was despite compulsory swimming lessons in Primary 3.

My children went through the same swimming programme when they were in primary school.

The lessons lasted only a week - barely enough to teach them adequate water-safety skills.

While some parents send their children for private swimming lessons, not all can do so because such lessons are expensive.

Swimming is an important life skill.

While many youngsters enjoy playing in the water, they do not know about the dangers of swimming in pools or the open sea.

In the light of the recent drowning incident, schools need to do more to ensure that all pupils are adequately equipped with water-safety and lifelong swimming skills.

Most primary schools have a Programme for Active Learning in place.

Perhaps swimming lessons that incorporate such skills can be worked into the curriculum.

Angelina Lim Bee Kuan (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2017, with the headline 'Ensure pupils have swimming, water-safety skills'. Print Edition | Subscribe