Laying stress on Disaster Risk Reduction in the Education Sector
Group work in disaster risk reduction in education sector
02 February, Kathmandu - A 2-day national workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Education was jointly organized by the Ministry of Education in close collaboration with UNICEF, UNESCO and Save the Children in Kathmandu. The Workshop from 30-31 January 2012 was attended by more than 80 participations representing government, development partners and education cluster agencies. The workshop was organised to reach agreement on a coherent and holistic approach to DRR in the education sector and to explore strategic options for integrating DRR into education sectoral planning, with the support of partners.
The workshop while enabling the participants to broaden their understanding of Disaster Risk Management and importance of integrating DRR in Education, also emphasized the need for DRR to be taken as a multi sectorial crosscutting issue with education as the entry point to reach the young population.
More importantly, the Workshop endorsed “The Roadmap of Nepal on DRR in Education” which exemplified the Ministry of Education's commitment to mainstream DRR in Education System in Nepal.
Mr. Gangalal Tuladhar, Constituent Assembly (CA) member and former Education Minister, during the workshop expressed his commitment to advocate in the CA/Parliament to expedite the approval process of the DRR Bill through the formation of a 50 – member CA Pressure group under his leadership.
Speaking during the workshop UNICEF Representative Hanaa Singer, stressed on the need to focus on prevention, and cited Nepal's ranking as the 11th on the most at-risk country from earthquakes - and the 30th most at-risk from floods according to the UNDP's Bureau of Crisis Prevention and Recovery report. "That is why we need to focus on prevention, " she said . "That is why need to invest in preparedness. We can no longer be complacent by only "responding" to disasters in a country so prone to natural hazards."
Ms. Singer while appreciating the important steps taken by the Ministry of Education to address disaster risk reduction in the Education Sector. and commend on how all 30,000 children in eastern Nepal were able to resume education in a timely manner in the aftermath of the powerful 18 September 2011 earthquake. "This would not have been possible without the collective and immediate response of the 'Education Cluster.'”
The 10 Action Points
1. The Integrate DRR as an objective in SSRP (Sector Plan).
2. National Planning Commission and Ministry of Finance to approve DRR related budget mechanisms and activities in the Annual Sector Implementation Plan.
3. Incorporate DRR-related specific objectives, learning outcomes and weighting in formal education, from early childhood education ranging to higher education.
4. Ensure training on DRR to all teachers and early childhood education facilitators to ensure delivery of DRR skills in every classroom.
5. Enhance technical and managerial capacity for safe schools for District Education Offices and School Management Committees.
6. Make safer schools an integral part of Child-Centered DRR.
7. Conduct mass awareness campaign on school safety together with Child Centered organizations.
8. Develop DRR capacity of district level education officials.
9. Update Terms of Reference of School Management Committees and Parent-Teacher Associations to integrate DRR activities at school and community level.
10. Train head teachers, teachers, School Management Committees, Parent-Teacher Associations and students in developing and implementing school-based disaster preparedness plans.