According to an article by CNA, a school bus driver and a student care centre did not notice that a Primary 1 girl was missing after she missed her bus stop and it resulted in her being stuck inside the bus for almost two hours.
The mother of the girl, Iris Law, took to Facebook to recount the incident.
Here is her recount of the incident
This is going to be a long post. I have been keeping quiet as we have been trying to approach MSF but it seems there is nothing we could do. Perhaps the power of social media could help to warn other parents.
I will like to share a case of gross negligence of a student care which might result in death or permanent mental trauma for a child. The student care was not aware when a child was missing which resulted in the child being left alone, locked and unattended in a school bus for 2 hours without any food.
The student care involved was Playfacto at Yishun Orchid Country Club
Student Care: Playfacto (https://playfactoschool.com.sg/)
Branch: Yishun OCC [Orchid Country Club 1 Orchid Club Road Social Clubhouse #02-34 S769162]
My daughter is attending P1 this year (2023) at a neighbourhood primary school in Yishun. We had engaged this student care to be the main custodian for her after her schooling hours. Under the recommendation of the student care, we also engaged a school bus service to transport her from school to the student care from Mon to Fri.
Date: 02 March 2023
Sequence of events (Verified with student care)
1330H: My daughter was released from school
1345H: School bus pick her from school and departed to student care
1545H: Student care received a call from the bus operator that they realised that a child was left inside the bus but claimed that they do not know who this child is. They are on the way to send the child back to the student care.
1555H: Student care verified the child’s identity and advise the bus operator to call the parents.
1556H: Bus operator called me and told me that my daughter was left behind in the school bus and on the way to send the child back to the student care.
1600H: Child arrived at student care.
Based on the sequence of events, the following points were concluded.
1. Student care is not aware of the missing child for a period of 2 hours and only realised it upon a call from the bus operator.
a. Upon having a conversation with the student care, it was mentioned that there was a procedure for a representative at the school to count the total head count upon boarding the bus.
b. However, at the student care during off boarding, there is no proper handover of the students from the bus operator to the student care where the count of the students is left unverified.
c. The teacher in the student care who are receiving the students are also not aware of the actual number of students attending the student care for that day and merely receive the students without proper accounting for the actual numbers.
d. Within the student care, there is a teacher incharge and responsible for each class. For any absentees, the teacher in charge will be notified by the centre manager. In this case, there is no notification from the centre manager about the absentees of my daughter. However, the teacher in charge is not aware nor concern about the missing child.
2. When the incident was realised, the student care did not take the initiative to call the parents but instead, tried to shun the blame and asked the bus operator to call the parents instead.
a. In this case, I received a call from the bus operator that our daughter is on the way to the student care. There was a lack of details from the bus operator and the incidents was described in pieces.
b. I tried calling the student care’s POC but was told that she is on MC and not aware of what’s going on.
c. I managed to contact the student care and again the information was in pieces where student care did not give a clear detail of the incident.
d. I managed to talk to our daughter and get a clearer understanding of what happened.
Based on the above pointers, we are led to believe that there is a serious lapse of safety protocol within the student care. There is a clear lack of ownership, accountability and safety awareness from the student care representatives who counted the students onboarding the bus, handing over the students to the student care without proper accounting the handover, and the ignorant/irresponsiveness of the teacher in-charge of the class who is not aware of the missing child.
Also, the way the student care tried to shunt the blame to the bus operator (by getting the bus operator to call the parents instead of student care) during the time of incident was a clear lack of responsibility/integrity/awareness.
I will like to share this case according to the fact and details as mentioned. It was lucky that my daughter was conscious when she was discovered on the bus (after she tried to knock on the glass window to attract attention from passer-by).
he result will be disastrous if she was unconscious and continue to be left unattended on the bus for a prolong period with a lack of food and suffocation (in a confined environment) which might lead to possible death or permanent mental trauma scarring her for life.
I hope that the authorities can view this case seriously where detailed investigation can be conducted.
Image source: Google Maps