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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 February, 2004, 18:26 GMT
Singapore to train house maids
Girls waiting outside a Maids agency in a  shopping mall in Singapore
Maids will be trained but so will first-time employers
The authorities in Singapore are to introduce compulsory training courses for Indonesian maids to teach them about the dangers of cleaning in flats.

From April, the maids will be educated on the do's and don'ts of working in high-rise buildings.

Many Singaporeans who employ housemaids live in such buildings.

According to the Indonesian embassy in Singapore, some 90 maids died after falling from high-rise buildings between 1999 and 2003.

Many of the maids come from rural areas where single-storey houses are common.

The course

They will be taught to observe three important things: to lock the windows before they clean them; not to stand on chairs near windows; and not to lean out of the windows when hanging clothes.

Included in the course is the handling of electric equipment and being able to administer first aid.

But the course will also have another component because, also from April, first-time employers of maids will also have to attend a course on how to treat their employees.

The Strait Times of Singapore says there are about 140,000 maids working in the country, many of them from Indonesia.

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