Sharjah, UAE. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Two Filipino employees of a private school in Sharjah, the United Arab Emirates, were convicted of negligence following the death by drowning of a young Emirati student in the campus pool.

Last November, the four-year-old Emirati boy fell into the school swimming pool after going missing from the changing rooms following a swimming lesson with 23 other children. The boy was later found unresponsive in the pool by his teacher, Khaleej Times reported.

The teacher alerted staff members and the child was rushed to Al Qasimi hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:07am on November 14.

The child’s father held the school fully responsible for his son’s death. The school had reportedly been previously informed that the child was very active and had not mastered swimming.

Prosecutors said the school failed to provide precautionary safety measures by leaving the pool open and lacking barriers to prevent children from gaining unsupervised access.

The owner of the school was charged with criminal responsibility for its employees’ actions. Five of the school staff, including two Filipinos, were charged with negligence, They had all denied the charges against them.

On Wednesday, the Sharjah Court of Misdemeanors ordered the Australian International School to pay 140,000 dirhams (US$38,121) in blood money, while two of its staff members were convicted of negligence and fined 5,000 dirhams each. The two were also ordered to pay 30,000 dirhams in blood money each.

The school expressed deep regret for the incident and the loss of one of its students.

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