On Monday, 5 Feb, the children at LOT Ang Mo Kio (AMK) were so happy to finally return to their newly renovated preschool after almost 2 weeks. However, the renovation works were not done as part of a planned upgrading project.
On the night of 15 January, Yinshuang, Principal of LOT AMK received a call around 9pm from her colleague that shook her to her core. While still in disbelief and shock, she rushed down to the preschool the moment she received the news that a fire had broken out there.
Note: Currently, the source of the fire is still under investigation by SCDF and the report will only be released at the end of the month. We will release more details when we can.
Despite it being quite late in the night, it was fortunate that a member of public who was at the void deck was able to alert the authorities when he saw smoke coming the bottom of the block where the preschool was located. Amidst the chaos and panic, we were also thankful that no one got hurt since the incident happened when there was no one present in the school.
Although most of the furniture was damaged by the fire, we were able to salvage a decent percentage of the school inventory such as learning materials, chairs and toys.The parents of LOT AMK were informed promptly that night that school operations would cease for the following two days, to give time for the team to deal with the aftermath of the fire and make alternative arrangements for the children.
During those two crucial days, the whole team from Ang Mo Kio as well as entire teams from HQ came together to clean up and pack up the remaining things. Meanwhile, the LOT AMK Principal, Vice-Principal and management team also planned for renovation to proceed as soon as possible and worked out a plan with LOT Bukit Arang, who could provide a place for school operations to continue in the interim.
Yinshuang, Principal of LOT AMK recounted, “From the night of the incident onwards, my team and I began planning intensely to ensure that everything went smoothly. From packing the logistics to bring to Bukit Arang, to sending out constant updates to parents, it was an emotionally and mentally challenging period for us to navigate.”
Two days after the incident on 18 January, children reported for school at the void deck next to LOT AMK.After having their breakfast and taking attendance, teachers and children were transported by chartered bus to Bukit Arang for the day. They were then sent back at the end of the school day.
This arrangement, which continued up till last Friday, allowed parents to continue their drop-off and pick-up routines as per usual. In order to prepare for operations to resume at LOT AMK this week, the HQ teams and LOT AMK team worked hard once again to restore the place after renovations.
"During the past 2 weeks, I held on to the hope of us returning to AMK again. I thank God that AMK parents have been very understanding and supportive, and I witnessed tangible help offered by them. We AMK team have not been alone in this journey. The staff and children of AMK have grown more resilient and united through this incident!"” shared Yinshuang, Principal of LOT AMK.
There is much to be thankful for as we received much favour and blessings throughout this difficult period. From our parents’ being so accommodating to the support rendered from across the PPS organization, we are heartened by the community built on love and trust that we can rely on. We continue to seek your prayers for LOT AMK as the children and teachers handle the challenges of yet another transition.
Read the entire 3-part series here:
Part 1: Thanksgiving (Current Article)