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After his first day in primary school, a six-year-old boy took a school bus to a daycare centre in Woodlands, but disappeared on his own, only to surface in Bugis later.
The incident happened on Tuesday (Jan 2), and the boy, Zhang Zihao, was found after having vanished for approximately four hours.
According to Lianhe Wanbao, he had boarded a school bus at around 1pm, alongside a classmate.
They arrived at Block 702, Woodlands Drive 40, where the classmate's father was waiting.
The school bus driver instructed the boy to follow his classmate and his father to the daycare centre, about 100m away.
However, Zihao then left on his own for reasons unknown.
An employee at the daycare centre realised that he was missing at around 4pm and alerted the police.
Investigations reveal that the boy had taken a bus back to the primary school, where he alighted and got on another bus to Bugis MRT Station.
He was found by a passer-by at an open-air carpark next to the station.
After being questioned, the boy gave the passer-by the numbers of his parents and the daycare centre.
The passer-by promptly informed the centre and the boy’s parents that he had been found at Bugis MRT Station.
An operator told Lianhe Wanbao that the drivers would follow the instructions left by the parents of the children, and normally would not leave the children to unfamiliar parents.
Bus driver Cheng Ming Zhu, 50, said that the sometimes it’s the parents who pick up the children, while other times, the maids pick them up.
However, there are also more independent children, especially those in upper primary, who would walk home on their own.
She said that sometimes, parents arrange for their kids to be sent to daycare centres, but whether the kids enter the centre on their own, or wait for
teachers to pick them up depends largely on the parents’ instruction.
“If no one comes to receive the child, and the parents did not give any specific instructions, we would usually accompany the kid until we can get in contact with the parents.”