Screen external facilitators thoroughly

An outdoor adventure educator helping to facilitate activities for Primary 5 pupils at the Education Ministry’s Dairy Farm Outdoor Adventure Learning Centre.
An outdoor adventure educator helping to facilitate activities for Primary 5 pupils at the Education Ministry’s Dairy Farm Outdoor Adventure Learning Centre.PHOTO: ST FILE

Mr Goh Chin Leng's call to not make school expedition camps compulsory is timely (Don't make school expedition camps compulsory, Feb 15), and the safety risks he highlights should not be taken lightly.

A significant number of camp facilitators are not Ministry of Education staff but employees of external companies providing camp services.

It is important to find out whether each facilitator is screened thoroughly before the camp.

Do schools conduct independent checks on the facilitators, rather than rely on what is submitted by the companies?

The safety of students and the security of their personal data are at risk if there is a lapse in the screening and training of staff and external facilitators involved in school expedition camps.

Until it can be reasonably guaranteed that such camps are accident-free, students should not be forced to attend them.

Jean Chia Ai Kim (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 25, 2019, with the headline 'Screen external facilitators thoroughly'. Print Edition | Subscribe