Teachers’ group to boost safety education efforts

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Teachers’ group to boost safety education efforts

The Korean Federation of Teachers’ Associations (KFTA), the oldest and largest teachers’ organization in the country, has decided to cancel its 33rd annual Teachers’ Day ceremony this year to express its condolences for the victims of the Sewol ferry tragedy.

The group will instead host a campaign aimed at building a safety net for students.

Affected by the deaths of so many teenagers, the association said in a statement yesterday that it would begin its long-term campaign for practical safety training from Sunday. It also designated a weeklong mourning period from tomorrow to 18 May.

“We must learn from this tragedy that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of students,” said Kim Dong-seok, the KFTA spokesman. “Now the first priority for KFTA is to focus on students’ lives and safety.”

The campaign is held with the understanding that such a tragedy occurred through the absence of a proper reaction system to correspond with the disaster. In order to prevent such an incident from happening again, Kim said, repeated practical security education and social support is necessary not only from schools but from society as a whole, including the government.

The campaign also focuses on the role parents play in educating their children about basic safety measures and ethical concepts.

Corresponding points include knowledge of the school’s safety manual, how to use a fire extinguisher, basic traffic safety rules and the idea of the dignity of life.

The local community was asked to allocate safety-management teachers or representatives in each school to facilitate students’ knowledge of safety areas considered weak or in need of improvement.

The KFTA also suggested local communities invite safety specialists, such as firefighters, to lecture students about their experiences handling accidents and what to do in a crisis.

Social and religious organizations will join the campaign after signing a memorandum of understanding with the KFTA to expand its scope.

BY JO SOO-MIN [enational@joongang.co.kr]

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