Enhancing Disaster Risk Reduction and Preparedness among School Students
Children are the most vulnerable to disasters and its effects can be detrimental to their physical health, mental health and access to learning opportunities. The current economic crisis and the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic has had a disastrous impact on the education sector of Sri Lanka, whose repercussions would be felt in the years to come. Long periods of school closures, the less than effective adoption of alternative modes of education, rising living costs and the limited access to fuel and essential goods have resulted in rapidly declining attendance rates at schools with the most vulnerable in society being affected the worst. Therefore, A-PAD SL encourages the importance of including Disaster Risk Reduction in education systems as a preventive measure to avoid future risks and ensure the education continuity of students.
A-PAD SL in consultation with zonal education authorities conducted Safe School trainings to over 250 students from 06 selected schools from the Southern, Uva and Eastern provinces.
The training was curated following a quick study on the school’s immediate environment and was conducted in the local languages for the ease of participants and was thoroughly interactive. The training included demonstrations on thunder and lightning safety, flood safety and knowledge on precautionary action for excessive heat events. Through such DRR trainings, A-PAD strives to ensure that every student learns to protect themselves during natural disasters or disaster-related circumstances. It is imperative to provide students with the knowledge of the types of disasters that could potentially occur and equip them with the skills to take action and contribute positively to the safety and resilience of themselves, their school and community at large.