MIRI: The introduction of swimming as a co-curricular activity as recently announced by Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik is a move well-received by hoteliers here to prevent the occurrence of drowning mishaps in swimming pools among students.
However, swimming facilities in hotels should not be turned into places to conduct such activity as it could disturb the in-house guests who are the priority users of the facility, said Meritz Hotel general manager John Teo.
“Hotel pools are meant for hotel guests and it is always crowded with in-house guests who want to enjoy quiet time around as well as in the pool. If hotel pools were to open up for school children to use, it will surely disturb the in-house guests.
“Hotel pools are usually meant just enough for its own in-house guests and not for public, meaning hotel pools are much smaller than public pools which are not meant for public,” Teo told The Borneo Post when contacted today.
He was commenting on Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik’s statement yesterday, urging the private sector, especially hotels with swimming pools, to offer the facilities to schools for student swimming activities.
Teo emphasised that the responsibility of allowing swimming pools for the use of school students should fall on the shoulder of public swimming pools, which always have qualified pool attendants in service during operation time.
“Do remember that all public pools life guards are certified and capable swimmers who are able to perform life guarding tasks.
“Thus, the government should encourage all schools to have training lessons offered by all these qualified swimmers cum life guards at public pools. They will be most qualified to give swimming lessons to all the school students,” added Teo.
Meanwhile, Pullman Kuching and Pullman Miri Waterfront cluster general manager Ishak Ibrahim said the objective of the Education Ministry is applaudable which is to inculcate lifesaving skills and safety awareness among the students.
However, most hotels are privately owned and meant for guest use, and schools must seek permission from hotels prior to implementing this programme, he pointed out.
“My concern is the safety of the students as well. Who will be liable should any mishaps occur during the swimming lessons? Thus, resulting in finger pointing,” he said.
According to Ishak, there are still a lot of issues to be looked into pertaining the proposal.
“Moreover, I believe it is best for schools to collaborate with public pools or local varsities which have pool facilities,” he added.