Experts identify 10 key actions for reducing disaster risk in Nepal’s education sector
Ten key actions to better prepare Nepal’s education sector for dealing with disasters have been identified by government representatives and development partners at the end of a two day workshop on 30 and 31 January 2012 in Kathmandu.
The actions relate to mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction (DRR) into education policy and planning, disaster risk reduction in teaching and learning, disaster risk management in schools and safe school buildings. All of them will help to strengthen educational planning, management and budgeting, agreed the workshop participants.
The event, initiated by UNESCO and organized in close cooperation with the Ministry of Education, UNICEF and Save the Children with support from Japan, was part of the activities of Nepal’s Education Cluster.
Experts from the Government, UNICEF, UNESCO, Save the Children, the Asian Development Bank and UNDP facilitated the discussions. Agenda items included the presentation of regional perspectives on DRR in education, existing DRR initiatives in Nepal’s education sector, and strategies to integrate DRR into education sector planning.
Participants reaffirmed that DRR in education is a combination of actions, processes and attitudes necessary for disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness. Embedding DRR in education policy is critical for its application and sustainability.
The overall consensus of the participants was that clear policy guidelines, adequate financial and human resources, and political commitment are needed for effective implementation of the following key actions:
Mainstreaming of DRR into Education Policy and planning
1. Integrate DRR as an objective in School Sector Reform Plan (SSRP). Analyze DRR in the SSRP and make recommendations for integration of DRR into the plan, for the Mid-Term Review in March 2012
2. National Planning Commission and Ministry of Finance to approve DRR related budget mechanisms and activities in the Annual Sector Implementation Plan. The Ministry of Education and Education Cluster will advocate DRR priorities to National Planning Commission and Ministry of Finance
DRR in teaching and learning
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
Promote Disaster Risk Management in School
5. Develop DRR capacity of district level education officials
6. Update Terms of Reference of School Management Committees and Parent-Teacher Associations to integrate DRR activities at school and community level
7. Train head teachers, teachers, School Management Committees, Parent-Teacher Associations and students in developing and implementing school-based disaster preparedness plans
8. Enhance technical and managerial capacity for safe schools for District Education Offices and School Management Committees
9. Make safer schools an integral part of Child-Centered DRR
10. Conduct mass awareness campaign on school safety together with Child Centered organizations. In collaboration with Flagship 1, conduct risk assessment of school buildings, prioritize and implement risk reduction measures