Parliament summons Education Minister for questioning over Huraa drownings

Parliament yesterday summoned Education Minister Shifa Mohamed to question her about the Huraa drowning incident in which four students and the principal of Hiriya school died.

Police have meanwhile concluded their investigation into the incident and have sent the case to the Prosecutor General.

Shifa told Minivan News that  she was questioned about the incident itself, and about how the Education Ministry had reacted in order to avoid such incidents from reoccuring.

”I told the parliament committee that the Education Ministry conducted an investigation, which has been now concluded and sent to the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM), police and other institutions,” she said. ”Police have concluded their investigation into the matter and sent it the Prosecutor General.”

Parents of the students had requested the Ministry not reveal the investigation report at the time because its potential political misuse would make it harder for parents to move on, she said.

She also revealed that there were four expat teachers involved in the incident who had been banned from leaving the country until the case was finalised.

”I asked the Permanent Secretary of the Education Ministry to take action against any civil servant that they found to have neglected their duties,” she said.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said the police investigation into the incident has been concluded.

”We cannot give further details of the case, the PG will decide whether or not to forward the case to the court,” he said.

Deputy Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem told Minvian News that the case with the PG’s office, which was  currently studying the investigation report to determine if it could be forwarded to the court.

He declined to give details of the investigation.


Committee to set emergency safety measures

The Cabinet appointed a ministerial committee to set emergency safety measures yesterday. The issue was raised after four students and the principal of Hiriya School drowned during a snorkeling excursion in Kaafu atoll Huraa last Friday.

Discussions addressed appropriate emergency preparedness and responsiveness in a crisis, and emphasised the need for the full cooperation from all concerned agencies.

The committee is chaired by Minister of Defence and National Security, Thalhath Ibrahim Kaleyfaanu, and consists of Minister of Home Affairs Hassan Afeef, Minister of Transport and Communication Mohamed Adil Saleem, Minister of Housing and Environment Mohamed Aslam, Minister of Education Shifa Mohamed and Minister of Health and Family Dr Aminath Jameel.