Minister of Education Ahmad Al-Issa has issued orders to shut down swimming pools without adequate safety means in school campuses across the Kingdom.
The minister’s decision followed the drowning of a boy at the swimming pool in Al-Namothajeya Al-Ula Primary School in Jeddah last week.
Meanwhile, the Public Prosecutor’s Office called in Sami Al-Harbi, the victim’s father, to hear his version of the unfortunate incident.
Mohammed, 7, drowned during his class activity in the swimming pool.
The victim’s father accused the school administration, the education affairs in the region and the lifeguard of failing to do their job.
Investigations reportedly revealed that the lifeguard at the school was an elderly Arab man in his 50s, who was unable to carry out rescue tasks.
Al-Harbi told a local Arabic daily that none of the responsible officials was present with Mohammed when he was transferred to hospital by ambulance. “This indicates the level of irresponsibility and failure of duty by the school administration, which is surprisingly unfortunate,” he said.
The father said he would hold all three parties responsible. “It was indeed hard for the old lifeguard to handle this job with a large number of children, which again takes us back to point of the school’s irresponsibility in ensuring the safety of its students,” he said.
Additionally, the school lacked safety equipment, which are important for every swimming pool, he said.
Al-Harbi said he would not drop his case because he wanted to save other children from such lack of responsibility.
Considering the importance of the matter, Minister of Education Al-Issa took the urgent decision to immediately shut down all school swimming pools without approved security and safety plans.
Al-Issa in a statement emphasized to every Educational Department the importance of abiding by the quality standards and safety measures when implementing programs and events for students.