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Govt should teach students to swim

Published on: Tuesday, January 19, 2016

TAMPARULI: Kiulu Tourism Association President Dares Saham said there is need to make swimming a compulsory subject in every school in Malaysia in order to prevent more drowning deaths.

“Malaysian children need to learn how to swim as children who can swim are less likely to drown.

People need to see the importance of learning how to swim as it could save their life.

“Every year, more than 500 Malaysian children drown. This is based on a research reported by two specialists, Dato’ Dr Amar Singh HSS, who heads the Paediatric Department in Hospital Ipoh and heads the Clinical Research Centre Perak; and Dr Krishnan Rajam who heads the Department of Family Medicine, Penang Medical College, last year,” he said.

In the report, it was stated that the community’s understanding of drowning is more towards accidents which in this case is inevitable. The ratio indicates that for every child that dies of dengue more than 10 will die of drowning.

Last Saturday, two brothers, Sheck Ismail Mohd Dali, 14, and Fazly Ashraf, 15, drowned while bathing at Sungai Kampung Ovai, near the Papar National Service Training Programme (NSTP) Camp. Last month, two others, aged 12 and 10, also brother, drowned while swimming in a pond in Papar.

Dares who is also Riverbug Managing Director – the biggest outdoor adventure specialist in Sabah – said every year the company organises a basic white-water safety course at Riverbug Base in Kiulu.

The course aims to channel the importance of basic white-water safety, especially for non-swimmers.

Last year alone, University Teknologi Mara Sabah sent in hundreds of its Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Management students to take up the course. The programme involves six professional guides from Riverbug, led by Dares, with the participants learning how to prepare and prevent accidents in the river.

“In the course, students will be exposed to technical rope systems and how to swim defensively and aggressively in the river as well as learn the rescue ropes techniques,” he said.

The story is available on the Daily Express website: http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=106053