A group of pre-schoolers at Sin Ming taking part in a fire drill on Friday (July 1) morning left some caregivers feeling concerned and miffed after these kids were seen walking barefoot outside the school under the blazing sun.
Marketing strategist Nur Amani told AsiaOne that she decided to record a video of the proceedings as “it felt a bit strange” seeing the group of 20 or so children sans their shoes from the Little Green House at Midview City guided by their teachers.
The 29-year-old said she was also participating in the fire drill as she works in an office nearby.
In the video, a woman wearing a blue tudung can be seen confronting the teachers just as the group was returning to the pre-school and she repeatedly told them: “You cannot do like that”.
Amani told AsiaOne that this woman was her colleague.
According to Amani, her colleague approached the teachers amicably to let them know that the road was “too hot for the kids to be barefooted” but the teachers appeared to simply brush off her words.
In another TikTok video posted on the same day, Amani explained that the protocol of the school next door, Red Schoolhouse, was different.
Over there, their pre-schoolers took the time to put on their shoes before evacuating for the same fire drill, she said.
Amani also said that other pre-schools were in the vicinity but “only the kids in the videos (from Little Green House) did not wear any footwear”, adding that two of their teachers had their socks or shoes on.
“We felt afraid for the kids’ safety. It’s natural because it concerns kids here as we’re in an office industrial building,” Amani explained.
During the fire drill, she caught sight of a teacher who appeared to use her leg to “get the kids in line”.
Amani told AsiaOne how such an act cannot be tolerated, saying: “We took the video not to jeopardise anyone’s rice bowl but to raise concern whether fire safety protocol is being implemented properly since other schools get their students ready on time for the fire drill”.
Later that day, she posted the 47-second clip on TikTok, asking netizens whether it was acceptable for kids to not be wearing shoes during such an exercise.
Her account has since been set to private, but the video has been uploaded to Facebook by Singapore Incidents.
As of the time of writing, the video has garnered more than 200 comments and over 43,000 views.
However, not everyone shared Amani’s sentiments.
In the comments section, a few netizens remarked that realistically, if a real fire were to break out, the wearing of shoes should not be a priority.
One also shared that children tend to take some time to put on their shoes and in such emergencies, it is important to train them to prioritise getting to safety.
AsiaOne has reached out to the pre-school for more information on the incident.
Early Childhood Development Agency’s good practices handbook for childcare centres states that all staff, including non-programme staff, must be familiar with the emergency evacuation routes.
Evacuation procedures have to be practised with the children on a monthly basis.
This article was first published on AsiaOne and republished on theAsianparent with permission.