Education Ministry rolls out Risk Management Plan for schools

─ the long-term expectation is geared at development of a comprehensive protocol for risk management in each school

─ team from APC-Colombia expressed their willingness to share their knowledge on disaster risk management for the next few days 

DPI, Guyana, Monday, October 8, 2018

The Ministry of Education’s Risk Management and School Safety programme will receive an improvement boost from a week-long knowledge transfer session.

The sessions being conducted by a team from APC-Colombia is intended to increase the capacity of local stakeholders to identify and manage risks around educational institutions, countrywide.

The knowledge transfer session was opened today at the Herdmanston Lodge Hotel and is expected to be carried out at various schools during October 8-12.

According to Deputy Chief Education Officer (ag), Marcia Paddy, “the long-term expectation as a result of the training is geared at the development of a comprehensive protocol for risk management in each school; to equip all schools with the first aid kit and risk management equipment; and ensure all teachers and students are trained as first responders with basic first skills.”

Further, Paddy said, “in order to ensure the implementation of the plan, it is critical that the education districts and all other stakeholders include the activities identified in their respective work plans.” She added that the forum is relevant to the country, in light of many natural disasters and other social ills affecting neighbouring countries.

“The Ministry of Education recognizes the significance of risk management and school safety in the promotion and the best practices of risk management. As a result, much focus has been placed in the areas of enabling an environment which includes establishing standards and enabling policies; and establishing a school disaster management plan and guidelines for students and teachers.”

In 2017, several schools participated in a disaster risk management competition which resulted in action plans and recommendations on safety and disaster reduction being designed.

Paddy informed those present, at today’s opening, that a model safe school programme is currently being piloted at the St. Johns College, and the Richard Ishmael and Dolphin Secondary schools.

In May, representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Ministry of Education travelled to Colombia to represent Guyana in an exploratory visit, to gain experiences in disaster risk management in schools. Paddy explained the one-week session is expected to see improved risk management skills being developed.

Paddy noted that the ministry’s plan for school safety will guide the ministry’s Safe School programme for the upcoming years. She commended local and external partners for their contributions to the enhancement of the school safety plans. 

Crystal Stoll.

Images: Jameel Mohamed.

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