…that, enticing and diverse and exotic as they may sound, foreign countries just ain’t England
The teacher of a Bexley teenager who collapsed on a desert trek has told of the devastating moment she realised no ambulance was coming for him as he lay dying.
The group were allegedly assured by local guide Ibrahim Chejja a 4x4 ambulance was on its way and would be able to reach Samuel where he lay by a farm building down a narrow track some way from the main road.
“Then we looked up and the feeling when this minibus pulled up and I said to Ibrahim ‘is that it?’ and he said ‘yes’ – that was just devastation.
“That is what they sent to help us and we were in the middle of nowhere.”
Well, what did you expect? It’s Morocco, not Maidstone!
Mrs Scott said, not long after Samuel died, a translator told her she needed to go and see (World Challenge ground agent) Mr Lmouden urgently.
She went to meet him in an alley nearby, only to allegedly find the guide had removed his World Challenge t-shirt and was wearing a different one.
She said: “He told me ‘you can’t say you had a guide because I could be held responsible and I could go to prison’.
Suddenly the exotic ways of the Moroccan people don’t look quite so enthralling, do they?
These are the results you get from wrapping people in bubble wrap to insulate them from the world and all its 'rawness'.
Teachers need to leave their left looking utopian dreams and get out into the raw harsh everyday world.
Darwin would have been better served if it had been the teacher rather than her charge who had overheated.
Aunty reports that the 'lad' weighed 20 stone.
His parents sent him to a Saharan country for a trek, and now try to blame anyone but themselves.
Could be worse. She could have been in Wales;
Would you let your child go on one of these "outings" without checking the school teacher/other adults knew at least some basic first aid appropriate to the expected conditions? Like basic rehydration?
So, a useless teacher and foolish parents - a "Darwin in action" lesson for others.
1.What on earth are 6th Form pupils at a Biz Academy doing on a Trek in the Moroccan desert in the first place?! I'm the first one to say that travel broadens the mind and should be a part of any education but I'm betting the UK does more trade with the rest of the EU than it does with Morocco. If they had taken the kids to China then I might see a point but since when does trekking through the desert mold the Alan Sugars of our future?!?!
2. Why on Earth was a pasty fat white kid 'exerting' himself in 40C heat with not enough fluids? Surely even he must have realised he was dehydrating/becoming ill? At age 17 one might expect a young man to take some responsibility for himself.
3. Why on Earth was the trek organised and led by (judging by the surnames) Surburbanites who clearly didn't speak the lingo nor have any real idea about First Aid. As far as I am aware Teacher Training College doesn't do a "Desert Trekking Survival Skills101" nor a post grad in "Bakeesh For Beginners" and the days when Young Brits were taught in school how to deal with those skitty arab natives/johnnies/ wallahs are long passed.
What on earth are 6th Form pupils at a Biz Academy doing on a Trek in the Moroccan desert in the first place?
Basically, they fell for the marketing schtick. The organization is essentially a holiday company which arranges things which are a little different to the normal. Personally, I do not think that pretending to 'visit the natives' is anything like as useful as a week on the Isle of Wight practicing putting up tents, going about in a landscape with its own offers of biking, sailing, swimming, surfing, riding, fossil hunting, or walking with friends. Or clubbing, for that matter.
There is plenty of opportunity to have accidents there (which is why there isn't much climbing on the IoW, due to instabilty of the rocks) but at least they can ship you to Southampton general if they can't deal with it in Newport.
The firm gives a misleading idea, however, of how risk free a journey is.
OTOH, they also make it clear in the terms and conditions that there is a level of fitness which is required. They probably should have refused to let him attend, but since they did, they will have to carry the can for it.
It would be interesting to see the risk assessment for this trip. (Schools seem to have to do risk assessments for the simplest outings ...)
WOAR has it in one - a holiday company - and the operators in the field aren't just targeting 6th form classes; my niece went on a similar trek with her school at the end of Year 10.
Fortunately nothing went seriously wrong, although she and her friends had some distinctly unnerving experiences dealing with predatory local males, but it seems absurd to take under-16s camping en masse in such an environment.
"These are the results you get from wrapping people in bubble wrap to insulate them from the world and all its 'rawness'."
So very true...
"Aunty reports that the 'lad' weighed 20 stone."
!!! As John Tee points out, where the hell was the risk assessment?
"Could be worse. She could have been in Wales;"
"Surely even he must have realised he was dehydrating/becoming ill? "
Maybe not. It doesn't sound as though he was accustomed to exercise...
"Basically, they fell for the marketing schtick."
It looks like it, doesn't it?
And yet if his parents had wanted to take him out of school in term time for the same thing, they'd have been hauled into court!
"...although she and her friends had some distinctly unnerving experiences dealing with predatory local males..."
Sadly, these days, that probably counts as a valuable learning experience!
Schools rename themselves as business academies when they're crap, so they don't appear in the Ofsted league tables.
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