Pupils learn flood drills as Kelantan braces for high water
He’s just nine, but Irfan Aiman Abdul Rahman is already learning how to prepare for possible floods next month in the Malaysian state of Kelantan.
On the last day of school on Thursday (Nov 19), he and his schoolmates at SK Manek Urai, along with their teachers carried tables, chairs and other furniture from the ground floor to the second floor.
“We are doing this because there may be floods again this year,” a shy Irfan told The Star while moving a table upstairs with another pupil.
Last year’s December floods were so severe in Manek Urai that the water level at the school, which is used as an evacuation centre, reached the third floor.
The school lost most of its furniture to the flood. Even the staff room at the second floor and their computers were not spared.
So new principal Mr Muzli Mustapha decided this year that they would not be taking any chances.
He got the teachers and students to move the furniture to a higher floor.
Mr Muzli said: "I would like to mentally prepare the students for the floods.
"By carrying the tables and chairs upstairs, I hope this will help instill in them a sense of responsibility and independence and doing whatever they can to reduce the damage if it floods.
"Because they are doing it together, I hope it will also foster a feeling of cooperation and togetherness.
"This is knowledge they can use at home too if it floods. We have learnt from the past year’s experience and are improving upon it."
Despite the massive floods and many of the students having lost their homes, there was quite a bit of cheer in the school when the UPSR results were announced and four out of 66 students scored straight As.
According to Mr Muzli, only three students scored 5As and one 4As last year.
On Wednesday, the schools had a mini convocation-like ceremony for the Year Six pupils who completed their primary school education.
Said Mr Muzli: "We had them wearing robes to give them a sense of pride in education and to appreciate what they have accomplished."
What happened last year
Last year, many were forced to flee their homes when Kelantan was hit by Malaysia's worst flood in 30 years.
The New Paper witnessed the chaos first-hand with reporter Azim Azman and photojournalist Mohd Ishak documenting the people's recovery efforts in Kota Baru following the floods.
They sent back these photos and videos.
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