Sharjah: All students’ activities in the swimming pool area will be suspended until all the safety and security requirements in new guidelines issued by the Sharjah Education Council are implemented by schools, said education authorities.
The issue of swimming pool safety for children came into renewed focus when a four-year-old Emirati boy drowned in the swimming pool of a Sharjah school on November 14.
A spokesperson of the Sharjah Education Council told Gulf News earlier that they were cooperating with investigators and would take strict measures to ensure tighter safety standards.
Mohammad Ahmad Al Mulla, director of the Education Department at the Sharjah Education Council, stressed the council’s keenness to follow up on all safety procedures in schools. Ensuring the safety of students, he said, is the top priority.
Following the incident on November 14, the Sharjah Education Council sent circulars to schools in the emirate on the new swimming pool safety measures to be implemented with immediacy.
The new guidelines are as follows:
1) Use of the school swimming pool is at all times limited to students in the third grade or higher.
2) Schools must obtain written parental consent before a student is allowed to participate in any swimming pool activity. The consent letter must be renewed at the start of every school year.
3) All doors from the dressing room must be equipped with electronic locks and an alarm device to detect any unauthorised entry to the swimming pool area.
4) Surveillance cameras must be installed at all entrances to the swimming pool area.
5) The appointment of qualified guards is contingent to the review and formal approval of the Sharjah Education Council.
6) A qualified lifeguard must be present at all times during any and all activities in the swimming pool area. No student should be in the swimming pool area without the presence of a lifeguard on duty.
7) Teachers and supervisors attending the students’ activities in the swimming pool area must ensure that all students are accounted for and are outside the swimming pool area at the end of every activity.