Safety, preparedness are key

The cancellation of immersion programmes in France by the Ministry of Education (MOE) is wise and decisive ("MOE cancels two 'immersion trips' to France for students"; Nov 18).

Following attacks in Paris on Nov 13, the whole world is on high alert.

Parents will be extremely worried about their children participating in these programmes even though they may be held in other parts of the country rather than in the capital.

While a lot of resources and effort have gone into organising these programmes, nothing beats the safety of the participants.

I was originally supposed to go on an immersion trip to Bordeaux, France, from late this month to the middle of next month.

Many of my friends and I looked forward to the trip because it was to be an exchange trip and we had hosted our French "buddies" in Singapore earlier in the semester.

It was to be a rare chance for us, who have been studying French for the past three or four years, to stay in our buddies' homes and learn the culture too.

But safety comes first.

I also commend the authorities for holding the annual anti-terror Exercise Heartbeat ("Paris attacks give Home Team exercise new significance"; Nov 19), especially in the light of the recent Paris attacks.

This will help prepare us for any emergency that we may face in future, as well as test our preparedness.

We should also learn what to do during an emergency, lest we freeze in a state of panic.

Being prepared is always better than not being prepared for anything.

We should stand together and counter all kinds of terrorism threatening the safety of human beings.

Jong Ching Yee (Miss)