Preschool under probe for Pasir Ris Park outing involving around 40 students & teachers

Enforcement action has been taken against 165 individuals at Singapore's parks and beaches since the start of the March holidays.

Ashley Tan | March 20, 2021, 05:42 PM

Update on Mar. 22, 2021 at 2:30pm: This article was updated with ECDA and Cambridge Pre-school's statements.

A preschool is under probe by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) for potential breach of Covid-19 safe management measures after a recent school excursion.

More than eight students per mat during picnic

The Straits Times saw the group, consisting of around 40 students and teachers, at Pasir Ris Park on Mar. 18.

The group was spread across three picnic mats, with more than eight students on each mat.

When ST approached them, a woman from the group reportedly said that they "had permission" and declined to give her name.

She also claimed that taking photos or videos of the group was not allowed.

Fiona Lee, director of preschool operations for Cambridge Pre-school Singapore, confirmed that the group was from her school, ST reported.

Lee said that the children were there to "enjoy nature", and that the preschool takes the children's safety and wellbeing as their "utmost concern".

However, Lee did not elaborate on what action would be taken following the breach.

In response to Mothership's queries, ECDA stated that they are looking into whether the preschool had adhered to the measures.

"If lapses are found, ECDA will take action against the preschool and also work with them to ensure that future activities adhere to the prevailing SMMs."

School excursions have resumed from the start of this year, but that safe management measures should still be followed and a cap of 50 people during excursions imposed.

Children should also be split into groups of eight, with groups staying one metre apart.

Cambridge Pre-school however, clarified that it had enforced measures to ensure the well-being of its students.

They also claimed there were factual inaccuracies in the ST article.

You can read their statement here.

165 people caught

Since the start of the March holidays, the National Parks Board (NParks) told Mothership it has taken enforcement action against 165 individuals at Singapore's parks and beaches, as of Mar. 17.

These include written warnings and composition fines.

Group Director of Parks under NParks, Sophianne Araib, urged visitors to observe other safe management measures like wearing a mask, except when engaging in strenuous exercise and eating and drinking, as well as keeping a safe distance of at least one metre from other visitors.

There should also be no intermingling between groups.

Since the start of the pandemic, there has been an increase in visitorship in green spaces like nature reserves, gardens and parks.

NParks staff and Safe Distancing Ambassadors patrol these areas and conduct spot checks to ensure visitors abide by safe management measures.

Currently, other measures are in place for camping and the use of barbecue pits as well.

Camping tents must be at least five metres apart from each other and the number of campers should also be kept at a maximum of six people per camping permit.

Barbecue pit bookings have a maximum group size of eight people per pit.

Those visiting parks and nature reserves can check the visitorship levels at each area with this real-time map developed by NParks.

Top photo from Mianbaoren Kogepan / FB