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Role of education and schools in disaster risk reduction

The importance of education in promoting and enabling Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) has already been identified by researchers and policy makers. In doing so, there is a renewed focus on disaster risk education in primary and secondary schools. Mainstreaming DRR into school curricula aims to raise awareness and provide a better understanding of disaster management for children, teachers and communities. Accompanying structural changes to improve safety in building schools will not only protect children and their access to education, but will also minimise long term costs.

There is increasing evidence that students of all ages can actively study and participate in school safety measures, and also work with teachers and other adults in the community towards minimising risk before, during and after disaster events. Methods of participatory vulnerability assessment, capacity assessment and hazard mapping have been be used with broader communities surrounding schools and other institutions of education and research. Government can effectively reach out to communities and protect them by focusing on schools in DRR initiatives to achieve greater resilience to disasters.

Recommended reading...

Let our children teach us! A review of the role of education and knowledge in disaster risk reduction
B. Wisner / Child Rights Information Network 2006
Action focused on schools should be an important part of efforts to building communities’ resilience to disasters and, this paper argues, children of all ages should be directly engaged in learning about risks and identifying so...
Lessons for life: building a culture of safety and resilience to disasters through schools: a briefing paper
J. Campbell; R. Yates / International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) 2006
The paper is based on the one of the core components of Hyogo Framework for Action 2005–2015 - the ‘use of knowledge and education systems to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels’. With the help of ...
Towards a culture of prevention: disaster risk reduction begins at school - good practices and lessons learned
United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction 2007
The World Disaster Reduction Campaign for 2006-2007 "Disaster Risk Reduction Begins at School" has resulted in various initiatives worldwide to make school buildings safer and have disaster risk reduction taught in school. This report...
2006 – 2007 World Disaster Reduction Campaign: disaster risk reduction begins at school
International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) 2007
This report presents an overview of the campaign “Disaster risk reduction begins at school” and the lessons learned from good practice in different countries affected by various natural and man-made disasters. Children are...
Impact of disasters on the education sector in Cambodia
Asian Disaster Preparedness Center 2008
Natural disasters can cause terrible loss of life. However what is perhaps most disturbing are their impact on the most vulnerable, in institutions where safety should be paramount i.e. patients stranded in hospitals and children at t...

This Key Issues Guide is produced in collaboration with Children in a Changing Climate – research, with financial support from Plan UK and the ESRC.