Turkmenistan education and civil defense specialists discuss disaster risk reduction in education
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, 3 September 2012 – Turkmenistan’s children will be better prepared to survive the natural and man-made disasters under the new “Disaster Risk Reduction in Education” (DRR) initiative, launched this year by UNICEF in partnership with Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Education and Ministry of Defense, and funded by the European Commission Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid – ECHO (DIPECHO 7). Last week education and civil defense specialists were introduced to the concept of DRR in education and discussed the coordination role and responsibilities of their respective ministries in raising awareness of schoolchildren in emergency preparedness.
During the four day seminar, participants have analyzed and mapped emergency situations that Turkmenistan is geographically prone to, such as earthquakes, fires, floods, landslides and mudflows, and have enriched their knowledge on how to prepare schoolchildren for these calamities. UNICEF’s international expert in disaster risk reduction Almagul Mukhamedkhanova, who led the seminar, also discussed with participants the possibilities for integrating disaster risk reduction into school curriculum as an integral part of children’s life skills education.
“Turkmenistan is already succeeding in integrating disaster risk reduction in education. This initiative is supported at the national level by readiness to include DRR component in education and revise the curriculum and life skills books for schoolchildren,” said Almagul Mukhamedkhanova. “The issue of disaster risk reduction is common in many countries, as disaster risks exist everywhere. It is important to ensure safety of Turkmenistan’s children by building their survival skills through an interagency approach,” she noted.
Prior to this seminar Ms. Mukhamedkhanova worked closely with specialists from the Ministry of Education to revise the Health Life Skills school curriculum, this will include a DRR component. In addition, the experts have started the revision process of teaching methodology and developed a series of educational materials on disaster risk reduction. During the seminar Ms. Mukhamedkhanova assisted specialists from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Defense in developing school plans on DRR and emergency preparedness.
The seminar was also attended by the management and teaching staff of six pilot schools where the DRR initiative will be implemented. School teachers and management developed a list of DRR related activities to raise the awareness of and build life skills of their schoolchildren in emergency situations.
The next step of the initiative is a training of trainers on DRR planned for October-November of this year. Most of the seminar participants will also take part in the training and will further work with schools on building the capacity of local teachers, administrators and schoolchildren in DRR and emergency preparedness and response.
For more information please contact:
Mr. Jepbar Byashimov
UNICEF Programme Officer, Disaster Risk Reduction
Ms. Gulyalek Soltanova
UNICEF Communication Officer
Phone: +99312 425681/82/85/86
Fax: +99312 425779