EARLIER this week, Year Four pupil Huguan Isaac of SK Sacred Heart, Kota Kinabalu, was involved in a freak accident in which his right cheek was pierced by a 1.5m-long metal rod.
The young pupil was said to be waiting for his school bus in the grounds of the nearby Sacred Heart Cathedral on Monday when he stepped on an unstable drain cover.
The loosened 1.5m-long rod attached to the drain cover then pierced Huguan’s cheek in the 12.30pm incident.
In another incident, a Year Five pupil from SK Kampung Jawa (2), Klang, suffered bruises on his eye and face after falling into an uncovered 0.3m-drain in the school.
Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said break-ins were not the only concern in the matters of school security.
Cases of students injured from damaged facilities in schools brought home the importance of occupational safety in schools, he added.
SJK (C) Ladang Harcroft Parent-Teacher Association chairman Yap Bau Sang said his school conducted a routine audit on the facilities in the school.
“Teachers are asked to report if there are any broken facilities in the classroom; it is easier for them to check since they enter the classroom regularly.
“Maintenance of infrastructure is extremely important because the broken items pose a serious safety risk to the pupils and teachers in the school,” said Yap.
The school compound can be a huge safety trap for young schoolchildren with open, deep drains and broken window panes that can grievously injure pupils.
The Education Ministry recently launched an occupational safety and health campaign in schools under a collaboration between the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) and DuPont.
Niosh chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the organisation would be providing schools with advice on potential safety and health hazards and ways to prevent the accidents.
Teachers from selected schools nationwide would be selected to undergo the “Train the Trainer” programme to learn about identifying hazards or risks in schools and an effective monitoring system.