UNICEF helps schools to promote emergency preparedness
Port Moresby, 20 June 2014 – More than 1,000 school children in Eastern Highlands Province today took part in an earthquake emergency mock drill as part of emergency preparedness training.
Goroka’s Okiufa Primary School was a scene of mock drill emergency as teachers and participants who had been trained in disaster preparedness and response plans for schools in the last few days swung into action during a simulation exercise that involved all the students.
The mock drill is designed to test the existing response capability of schools and involves teachers, fire fighters, health workers, Red Cross, education officers and provincial disaster coordinators reacting to an emergency scenario.
To protect lives and prevent injuries from falling furniture and flying objects that can become projectiles during an earthquake, students and teachers learned the basic quake safe actions – duck, cover and h
“It is important for every child to practice ‘duck, cover and hold’ and these evacuation drills should be done periodically. Every school should have a good emergency preparedness and response plan that should be reviewed and tested regularly,” said Ms. Yoka Brandt, Assistant General Secretary to the United Nations and UNICEF Deputy Executive Director who visited the school.
UNICEF is supporting the training on disaster preparedness and response plans for safe school across the country. Through these trainers, a core group of trainers is being developed who will scale up the training to all schools in the country. The five-day training covers aspects of structural, non-structural hazards during earthquake, floods, cyclones, fire and landslides. The training also includes sessions on first aid and trauma healing.
Ms. Brandt also handed over braille machines to Faniufa Primary School that is also an inclusive school that takes in students with special learning needs.
Ms. Brandt expressed appreciation to the Mt. Zion Special Education Resource Centre and the Callan Services National Institute for helping schools like Faniufa to be inclusive
“UNICEF is pleased to hand over these braille machines to help children who are visually impaired get an education,” Ms. Brand stated.
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