Height-based outdoor activities will remain suspended pending MOE review

MOE will share its findings and recommendations when the review is done, Mr Lawrence Wong said. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - 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 on Wednesday (Feb 24).

MOE will share its findings and recommendations when the review is done, Mr Wong said.

He could not comment on the specifics of an incident on Feb 3 that resulted in 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 could only say that Jethro and his classmates were involved in an activity at the adventure facility in Safra Yishun, which is operated by outdoor adventure learning company Camelot.

It was an annual event that the school had been undertaking for its students since 2017.

"Let me express my deepest condolences to Jethro's parents, family members and loved ones," Mr Wong added.

The Straits Times previously reported that the student had lost his footing during a high-element activity at about 2pm on Feb 3 and lost consciousness while he was suspended by the safety harness in mid-air.

Portrait of Jethro Puah on the hearse as it leaves the Singapore Casket on Feb 9, 2021. PHOTO: ST FILE

Paramedics from the Singapore Civil Defence Force tried to resuscitate him at the scene before taking him to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, where he died 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, while schools planning outdoor camps for their students had also modified some of the activities.

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