Part three of a three-part series
CREATING a safe environment for students and teachers is imperative to ensure teaching and learning can take place effectively.
In 2002, the Ministry of Education (MOE) launched the Safe School programme — the creation of a safe environment that allows teaching, learning and co-curricular activities to take place.
SK Goebilt recently collaborated with the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) to equip the teachers and staff with better knowledge on safety.
The two-and-a-half-day programme was jointly organised by the school’s English and Science panels together with the Guidance and Counselling Unit.
The programme comprised both theory and practical whereby participants were given hands-on experience, including how to put out a fire and how to use a fire extinguisher.
Forty-eight participants were involved in the safety awareness and fire safety session while the Celik Sedia Urus Risiko Isirumah (Suri) session had 22 participants.
According to school headmaster Muhammad Azizi Rahim, the programme aimed to create a safer and more conducive environment, including school building safety aspects and preparedness to deal with disaster or wildlife threats.
“One of the main objectives was to provide exposure to our staff on the safety measures that must be practiced in the science and computer lab, workshop and store.
“Most importantly, we wanted to improve our school’s level of safety to be prepared for any event of volatility, uncertainty, complexity or ambiguity. We cannot predict when an incident will happen, but we know it is important to be prepared.”
Muhammad Azizi said that the school was often affected by flood, leading to wildlife such as snakes being found in the school compound.
“The school is surrounded by jungle and factories.
“I appreciate how Bomba is very helpful and informative seeing as safety is a shared responsibility.
“Now that our teachers and staff are more knowledgeable, I believe we will be able to handle emergencies better instead of allowing panic to take over or solely waiting for Bomba.”
Asmah Ahmat, who is the school’s guidance and counselling teacher, noted that this was the school’s first comprehensive collaboration with Bomba.
She said previously, the school would invite Bomba to conduct talks and fire drills with the pupils.
“Invitation for the programme was extended to the school’s Parent-Teacher Association members, but it was limited. Thus, the programme had participation from teachers, parents as well as our school cleaners and security guard.”
Asmah advised other schools to not be afraid in approaching Bomba if they are thinking about organising programmes to do with safety.
“When we approached Bomba, they provided us with many ideas on what was suitable for our school and the local community. In fact, some of the ideas proposed did not even cross our minds.
“With the new knowledge acquired, the participants can actually share this with their friends and family members for everyone’s betterment and safety.”
Meanwhile, the school’s English Panel head Siti Najihah Bohari lauded Bomba for their mode of delivery for the activities conducted during the programme.
She pointed out that the participants, including herself, gained new knowledge through their participation.
“I personally admit that before participating in the programme, my knowledge on safety especially when it comes to fire was limited. For instance, I believe I am not the only one who have always thought that fire can be put out with water.
“With the new knowledge gained, I am now more attentive to my surroundings and take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of others as well as my own. Moreover, the officers who conducted the programme were very enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and open.
“This contributed to a relaxed learning environment for the participants, it truly illustrates how these officers accurately embody Bomba’s ‘cepat dan mesra’ (quick dan friendly) slogan.”
Siti Najihah said the school was keen on having more collaborations with Bomba, stressing that such collaborations were beneficial to both parties.
“If possible, we would like to organise a day at our school where students can see the fire truck and fire engine then hold a Q&A session. Children are very curious so it would be lovely to see their excitement and have the firemen answer their questions.”
According to Sarawak Bomba director Khirudin Drahman, when it came to being open for the public’s benefit, Bomba engaged the 7C approach (contact, communicate, collaborate, coordinate, and cooperate for easy command and control).
He stated that the approach was necessary and crucial in encouraging community participation in safety awareness and fire safety.