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I am a Practitioner of 'The 7e Way of Leaders' where a Leader will Envision, Enable (ASK for TOP D), Empower, Execute, Energize, and Evolve grounded on ETHICS!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Daily Lessons from Life 19 November 2015 - Agencies see drop in demand for overseas adventure trips from schools

1. "Paris Black Friday Terrorist Attacks Update - AFP 19 Nov 2015

Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected mastermind behind the Paris Attacks has been identified among those killed in a police raid, the prosecutor's office said Thursday."

Too bad he was not captured alive. A hard task given that he is prepared to die for his 'faith'!

2. "Agencies see drop in demand for overseas adventure trips from schools - CNA 19 Nov 2015

SINGAPORE: School holidays start next Monday and operators of outdoor adventure trips for schools have reported a drop of between 20 and 30 per cent for overseas expeditions.

Operators Channel NewsAsia spoke with cited the Jun 5 earthquake in Sabah which killed seven students and two teachers from Tanjong Katong Primary School while they were on an overseas learning journey.

Mr Raj Kumar, managing director at International Paradise Connexions, said: “Definitely, as of now, the primary schools have come to a standstill when it comes to overseas adventure learning. More prefer to do it locally."

Organisers such as International Paradise Connexions and Outward Bound Singapore said schools find their local programmes equally effective in instilling leadership qualities and physical ruggedness in students.

Others tour operators such as STA Travel said there have been more enquiries on other types of study trips.

The Education Ministry announced on Jul 13 that it would be forming an advisory panel, to provide input on enhancing the quality and safety of outdoor adventure learning programmes.

However, operator X-Trekkers feels this process needs to be hastened. It recently ran a school trip to Lombok, Indonesia which left a group stranded for seven days due to ash from a volcanic eruption.

"Based on my experience with the school programme in Lombok, I felt that there are gaps in crisis management," said Mr Wong Yuen Lik, an X-Trekkers adventure consultant. Mr Wong hopes the Education Ministry can work more closely with outdoor practitioners to improve emergency response handling."

Personally I have misgiving about sending our kids, especially primary and secondary school kids, overseas for adventure training. For that matter, community involvement project (CIP).

Lessons for me are:

1. we have our outward bound school in S'pore. It is pretty decent. Good enough really for primary and secondary school kids;
2. standard of facilities, personnel, etc. are better trained and emergency help, if needed are definitely closer to home;

3. the money to be invested can stretched a lot further locally as the airfare is a big expense item, not forgetting the accommodation.

Having said that, it is STILL up to the schools, the students and the parents to decide IF they want to send the kids overseas for such activities OR NOT.

For those schools who had established a 'tradition' and with safe records, it will be naturally for them to want to continue. For those who have not started such a 'tradition', maybe they can focus on having such activities locally without sacrificing any quality?

Notes: As for overseas CIP tour, I have a stronger objection as SURELY there are A LOT of worthy LOCAL CIPs our kids can get involved! And, more importantly, CAN ESTABLISH a MUCH longer association and follow up as the beneficiaries are ALL in S'pore! It will NOT be a 'one CIP in that particular year and NO follow up after that'! Just thinking about it already make so much sense to STOP overseas CIPs for primary and secondary school kids. Come to think of it, even JC kids!

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