BSED Intensifies Training on Disaster Risk Reduction in Schools

Kamanga Kamanga - pic by Steve Kalungwe

As disasters still continue to disturb school calendars and affecting progress of learners, the Blantyre Synod Education Department of the C.C.A.P has trained teachers and Area Civil Protection Committees on best practices of reducing disaster impact.

With funding from NORAD through Save the Children - BSED says reviewing disaster prone schools, disaster response plans and coming up with models that will make schools safe for children during disasters are critical in securing child rights through education.

Programme Manager for Securing Children's Rights Through Education and Protection (SCREP), Geoffrey Kamanga, says teachers and members of Area Civil Protection Committees are crucial in ensuring that leaners are not disturbed during disasters.

"Teachers and ACPC's act as bridges for disaster risk reduction and management since they know well which disaster is imminent to a such area, hence we need to further equip them with better models of prediction and managing disasters", he said.

Kamanga further says that, for example, Kasenjere and Ligowe education zones are perpetually hit by strong winds and heavy rains which disturb learning hence a need for collaboration between school management structures, village civil protection and area civil protection committees in identifying means of lessening the burden.

On their part, both Coordinating PEA for Neno district, Grey Keyala and Rose Kumalembe, a teacher at Kaliyoni primary school said identifying assembly points for managing disasters was a challenge but now they have identified one at each school which will improve resilience to disasters.

"For example here at Kaliyoni, schools are often hit with strong winds as we sit at the bottom of Kirk range and receive too much rains: now we are planning to plant trees to act as windbreakers", said Kumalembe.

The activity is expected to improve the targeted schools resilience and capacity to prepare and respond to disasters which will in the long run improve leaners' safety and promote access to education in emergencies.

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