Skip to main content
Best News Website or Mobile Service
WAN-IFRA Digital Media Awards Worldwide
Best News Website or Mobile Service
Digital Media Awards Worldwide
Hamburger Menu




MOE to progressively resume high-element outdoor activities for school programmes

Activities will be resumed with enhanced safety measures, such as requiring regular accreditation, in place.

MOE to progressively resume high-element outdoor activities for school programmes

The Ministry of Education. (File photo: Alvin Chong)

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Monday (Nov 28) that it will progressively resume outdoor activities involving high elements from Feb 1, with enhanced safety measures in place.

Such activities have been suspended since February 2021, after a 15-year-old student died following an incident at a camp programme in SAFRA Yishun. 

A man was charged in relation to the student's death for failing to ensure that both of the leg straps of the student's safety harness were properly buckled and adjusted before dispatching the student onto the rope course.

"These activities ... offer important educational benefits by allowing students to step outside their comfort zone, develop positive attributes such as self-confidence, teamwork and resilience, and strengthen trust and relationships with peers and teachers," the ministry said.

MOE said on Monday that they have completed an internal review to enhance the safe delivery of height-based OAL activities.

"We have also worked with the Ministry of Community, Culture and Youth, the National Youth Council and industry partners to review and strengthen overall quality and safety standards in the outdoor adventure education sector," it added.


The ministry will implement enhanced safety measures to guide the resumption of height-based outdoor adventure learning (OAL) activities.

This includes requiring all operators offering height-based activities for MOE students to ensure that their facilities are regularly accredited by a National Sports Association or a regional outdoor adventure learning professional body.

This is to make sure that their facilities meet the safety standards for operation and training.

"Schools must only engage accredited operators and qualified instructors to conduct height-based OAL activities for their students," MOE said.

Climbing and abseiling walls must be accredited annually, while challenge courses - which include zipline, high rope and obstacle courses that require belaying - must do so every three years.

Accredited operators running challenge course activities will resume with 50 per cent or less of their normal operational capacity from Feb 1 to Mar 31.

The ministry said this will "give operators time to progressively scale-up their operations after a two-year hiatus, and allows challenge course instructors to ease into their roles and responsibilities in a paced-out manner".

"To ensure instructors remain operationally ready, MOE has been conducting refresher sessions and recertification courses to help instructors keep their certifications current," it said.

It added that it will conduct skills verification sessions in January to "ascertain that instructions can resume challenge course activities confidently and safely".

Meanwhile, abseiling and climbing activities will fully resume from Feb 1, as commercial operators and instructors for these activities have remained operational at commercial sites for the public.

MOE schools have also appointed a staff member as activity leader in charge of OAL since early this year, to oversee the safe and quality delivery of such activities for their students.

These activity leaders are given training before taking the role.

The Outdoor Adventure Education Council has reviewed these measures and supported the resumption of height-based OAL activities in schools, MOE said.

Formed in September, it spearheads the development of Singapore's outdoor adventure education sector.

MOE added that the council will continue its work on developing national standards to govern the operations and safety of height-based activities across the outdoor education sector.

"MOE will adopt these national standards once they are available," it said.

Source: CNA/st(ga)


Also worth reading