Children in Georgia learn how to respond to natural disasters
TBILISI, Georgia, 3 November 2010 – Children in Georgian schools will soon be able to learn how to respond adequately to natural disasters thanks to the new partnership initiative launched by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, the National Curriculum and Assessment Centre, Emergency Management Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, UNICEF and the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department.
The Memorandum of Understanding about the new partnership has already been signed by Mr Dimitri Shashkin, Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, Ms Natia Jokhadze, Director of the National Curriculum and Assessment Centre, and Mr Roeland Monasch, UNICEF Representative in Georgia.
Within the framework of the initiative a special Technical Working Group will be established to review the existing national education and disaster preparedness policy and to initiate the process of mainstreaming disaster preparedness and risk reduction in formal education as well as in extra-curricular activities.
“Georgia is part of a highly disaster-prone region and natural disasters such as earthquakes, landslides, snow avalanches, and floods are potential threat to people”, said Roeland Monasch, UNICEF Representative in Georgia. “The most vulnerable and affected by natural disasters are children. We hope that thanks to our partnership initiative children will be able to acquire basic skills on how to behave in emergencies and be adequately prepared.” added Monasch.
Children and their caregivers, especially in conflict affected and disaster prone areas lack knowledge and related life-skills on disaster preparedness. Furthermore, existing educational and teacher training programmes in the country are in short of such information.
Within the framework of the current initiative the relevant curriculum will be developed, teachers will be trained and the curriculum will be introduced in eight pilot schools in disaster prone regions of Georgia, including Tbilisi. The project also envisages development of the relevant policy and legislation to further strengthen education on disaster preparedness and carrying out information campaigns for children on safety practices and disaster risks.