It was confirmed that educational authorities had not issued any safety notice ahead of the Halloween event this year, which would be the first one in three years without mandatory mask-wearing measures since the pandemic.
According to The Dong-A Ilbo on Sunday, the Ministry of Education had not issued any safety notice to schools ahead of the Halloween weekend. “There were a variety of events, not a single main event, so we did not issue a safety notice on this,” said an official with the ministry. Municipal and provincial education school districts did not issue any warnings to be aware of crowded areas.
Many students visited various areas in Seoul that had Halloween festival events. “I went to Seoul with my friends on Saturday afternoon. Many other friends had also been in Seoul when I checked my Instagram story,” said a 17-year-old student living in Incheon. “I heard from the boys in my class that they went to Itaewon,” said a 16-year-old student living in Seoul.
“If safety notice had been issued to students, it would have helped them understand what to do in emergencies, such as learning how to perform CPR,” said Kong Ha-seong, a Fire and Disaster Prevention professor.
Experts advised that training to respond to disaster situations should be strengthened. Countries such as the U.S. and the U.K. have official education courses in the school curriculum to teach students how to respond in disaster situations. Meanwhile, Korean students attend safety sessions in the regular subject or creative activities. Only first and second-grade students learn “Safety” as an official subject in the curriculum.