Victoria College School suspended over fatal Dead Sea incident


Published: 2018-10-28 10:01

Last Updated: 2023-02-04 09:00

The Ministry of Education has suspended Victoria College School until further notice. (Roya)
The Ministry of Education has suspended Victoria College School until further notice. (Roya)

The Ministry of Education has suspended Victoria College School until further notice.

On Thursday, October 25, 2018, the school committed several violations after insisting on going on a field trip to the Dead Sea, which ended in disaster due to the severe weather conditions that swept the Kingdom over the weekend.

Sadly, many students lost their lives due to the vicious floods which erupted in a Dead Sea nearby-area, engulfing the bus and whoever was in/near it.


The Violations committed by the school

The Public Prosecution launched an investigation into the incident on Thursday, which cost 22 children and adults their lives, and left dozens others injured.

Parents were told that their children would be visiting the Dead Sea, despite notifying the Ministry of Education that they would be visiting ruins in Al Azraq, in the eastern desert of Jordan.

Changing the trip's route without notifying the ministry or taking its permission marked the first violation committed by Victoria College, according to Petra news agency.

The second violation was allowing students from the fourth, fifth and sixth grades to participate in the trip, even though the ministry had only agreed to allow seventh, eighth and ninth graders to go on the trip.

But the third and biggest violation was allowing students to go near swimming areas, which goes against the rules and regulations set by the ministry. In a document recovered by Petra, a paper signed by the school’s Headmistress clearly stated that “students were not to be permitted to swim at any cost.”

Additionally, the ministry had only agreed to allow a maximum of 30 students and two chaperones to go on the trip. They were also told to take two busses. However, the school went against the ministry’s orders and 36 students and seven chaperones went to the Dead Sea, using just one bus to carry them there.


The Ministry of Education takes action

In response to the tragic incident, the Ministry of Education has announced that all school field trips across the Kingdom have been cancelled, until further notice.

The announcement was made through an official statement released on Saturday, October 27, 2018, of which a copy was sent to all Educational Directorates in Jordan, including UNRWA schools and educational institutions.

The decision also regarded all previously issued field-trip-approvals as void.