JOHOR BARU: The Education Ministry has been urged to introduce hazardous gas safety drills at schools other than fire drills.
SK Taman Pasir Putih headmaster Abdul Rashid Ahmad said the school staff managed to react quickly when hazardous fumes from toxic waste, which was allegedly dumped in a nearby river, spread through the school on Thursday.
He said the school staff had recently undergone training by the Pasir Gudang Emergency Mutual Aid (Pagema) that was set up by government agencies and high-risk industries to help manage emergencies in the Pasir Gudang industrial area.
“Some of the schools in Pasir Gudang are surrounded by all kinds of factories. As such, the hazardous gas safety drills are vital for the schools.
“I hope the ministry can introduce it to all schools nationwide,” he said in an interview during a gotong-royong programme at the school yesterday.
Abdul Rashid said the hazardous gas safety drill was similar to a fire safety drill and did not take up too much time.
“The key factor is coordination so that we can ensure everyone’s safety,” he added.
SK Taman Pasir Putih Parent-Teacher Association president Mohamad Sukur Hamdan said safety drills could help ensure that all school personnel knew what to do during emergencies.
“If there is a fire in a school, we should run to safety. But how do we react to a hazardous chemical incident such as the one that affected our school?
“Fortunately, with the training provided, the school managed to evacuate the staff and pupils as quickly as possible,” he added.