Girls school buildings to undergo safety checks

Updated 12 May 2013
0

Girls school buildings to undergo safety checks

Female education supervisors will carry out inspections of private and international girls’ school buildings to ensure their safety, according to a directive from the Ministry of Education.
Supervisors will ensure that inspections are conducted in construction and electric fittings, and that there is availability of security and safety tools and management.
The move will prevent major accidents including fires caused in schools because of the poor safety and security record.
The directive comes in the wake of several incidents involving fires that have left women dead or injured. One case involved Jeddah’s Baraim Al-Watan Girls’ School in which three teachers died and several other teachers and students were injured in the November 2011 blaze. Emergency exits were either blocked or improperly marked.
This exercise is part of the ministry’s move to make sure the schools comply with all safety and security regulations before they start operations in the next academic year.
The ministry, which does not employ engineers or technical personnel, urged the school owners and governing boards to take care of safety and security aspect, said Awatef bin Fahd Al-Harthi, director general of private and international education at the ministry.
Al-Harthi, who issued a circular to regional education departments, said supervisors will visit the schools and fill out an evaluation form that has to be approved by the department.
The form requires supervisors to ensure the safety of the school building’s “construction” and “architecture.” There are provisions in the forms to mention irregularities and to furnish reports about cracks in the walls or water leaks and completion of maintenance works in the school building.
The form also requires the supervisor to ensure the availability and operating status of fire extinguishers, the availability of standard-meeting emergency exits, first-aid kit and medications (small pharmacy), the quality of electrical fittings and the availability of an early-warning system. Al-Harthi’s directives stipulated the evaluation form has to be signed by the supervisor and the school principal prior to the signature of education department’s director.
“This is a commendable step of the ministry,” said Ibrahim Al-Qayid, an educator and member of the National Society for Human Rights. He urged all school managements to check on the school buildings and to monitor air quality, fire code compliance, policies on chemicals and hazardous waste, as well as pest control and chemical spraying of school grounds.
Schools must adopt emergency safety plans, said Al-Qayid, adding that “there must be adequate emergency exits, safety equipment and wide windows in school buildings.”


Houthi militias deny 40 relief ships access to Hodeidah Port- Saudi-led coalition

Updated 44 min 8 sec ago
0

Houthi militias deny 40 relief ships access to Hodeidah Port- Saudi-led coalition

RIYADH: The Saudi-led coalition announced today that Houthi militia backed by Iran are not allowing 40 relief ships from entering the port of Hodeidah.

The Coaltion spokesperson Turki Al-Maliki said in a press conference held in Riyadh Wednesday that ridding Yemen of Houthi militia number two was an important development. Al-Maliki said that Al-Sammad was responsible for threatening Saudi Arabia’s peace and and security, as well as being responsible for disrupting maritime traffic in the Red Sea Bab Al-Mandab straight, and the continued suffering of millions of Yemenis.

The spoksperson said that Houthi militia backed by Iran launched more than 125 ballistic missiles toward Saudi Arabia’s territories. Al-Maliki added that the Kingdom's air defense systems have intercepted them. In addition Al-Maliki said that up till now Houthi militia alunched in excess of 66 thousand projectile toward the border with Saudi Arabia.

In conclusion, Al- Al-Maliki reiterated the coalition commitment to helping Yemeni stating that humanitarian help by King Salman’s center for relief and humanitarian ais has delivered aid to help more than 3 million Yemenis.