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Over 1 million children, 90 per cent of all children enrolled into preschools and schools, attend structurally unsafe educational institutions in the Kyrgyz Republic

BISHKEK, 2 July 2013 – At the National Conference on Reducing Child Vulnerability to Disasters in Kyrgyzstan, the outcomes of the Nationwide School and Pre-School Safety Assessment will be presented. 

According to the Assessment findings, over 1 million children, 90 per cent of all children enrolled into preschools and schools, attend structurally unsafe educational institutions in the Kyrgyz Republic; nearly nine out of ten preschools and schools fail to meet the standards for structural integrity and facility and utility maintenance.


Secondary School in Batken Province - UNICEF/Kyrgyzstan/2013 

These buildings and structures require immediate structural and non-structural changes. Some of them need improved or new safety structural engineering features, and also extensive repairs. In some cases, it is recommended to relocate schools and kindergartens to an area where they are not at immediate threat from natural disasters. Others require being demolished and new, safe buildings and structures constructed.

The Assessment gives two main recommendations:

  • To start necessary retrofitting, repairs and reconstruction work, and implement non-structural mitigation measures; and

  • To continue training in disaster risk preparedness and provision of first aid in educational institutions.

The Assessment has been the first attempt of its kind covering the whole country, namely, over fifty-five hundred buildings and facilities. It has been carried out through the efforts of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, Ministry of Education and Science, State Agency on Local Self-Governance and Inter-Ethnic Relations and State Agency on Architecture, Construction and Communal Services, with the technical assistance of UNICEF with the funds made available by the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance of USAID.

Besides the Assessment outcomes, participants will be presented a specially developed information system. It will make it possible for those interested to get access to information on each and every school or pre-school institutions in a user-friendly GIS-map format. At present, the system is being monitored by the Central Asian Institute of Applied Geoscience.

The Conference will also look into practical issues. The participants will discuss the draft Action Plan aimed at the improved (pre)school retrofitting and reconstruction and identify the next steps. One of them will be identify extensive technical and financial support needed to make the plan a reality. Without this, children will continue to learn in buildings and facilities that are structurally unsafe and thus highly susceptible to strong earthquakes and other disasters.

 

 
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