Commitment to disaster-related school curricula increases in Nepal, says UNESCO/UNICEF study
Interesting findings on how Nepal includes disaster risk reduction (DRR) into its education system and curricula can be found in a comprehensive study on “ Disaster Risk Reduction in School Curricula “ that was recently released by UNESCO and UNICEF.
The report says that the Nepal experience highlights the question of whether primary textbook-driven curriculum development can meet the skills and dispositional learning outcome ambitions of DRR Education.
According to the report, Nepal’s experience also raises important questions about centrally driven DRR curriculum development in a national context composed of diverse and proudly local communities often facing their own particular mix of natural hazards.
The study undertaken by David Selby and Fumiyo Kagawa of Sustainability Frontiers, and international partnership that specializes in education reform, maps 30 countries that have included elements of disaster risk reduction into their education systems and curricula. The report captures national experiences whilst nothing key challenges in countries where DRR is less prioritized or where specific teacher training does not exist. Nepal is one of the countries in the report.
In 2011 alone, 302 hazards resulted in disasters that claimed almost 30,000 lives, affected 206 million people and inflicted damages world an estimated USD366 billion, according to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. These figures are likely to increase unless populations improve their capacity to anticipate, prepare and become more resilient to such events.
In response to this need, and convinced that the best place to start in the classroom well before disaster strikes, UNESCO and UNICEF have published a comprehensive study called Disaster Risk Reduction in School Curricula.
Qian Tang, the UNESCO Assistant Director-General of Education, explains, “By placing Education and Disaster Risk Reduction at the heart of the sustainable development agenda we are offering future generations the chance to thrive.”
“We hope that this publication and the subsequent technical guidance for education planners that UNICEF and UNESCO are developing will provide support to all countries in the process of integrating disaster risk reduction into their curricula,” said Geeta Rao Gupta, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF.