The Caribbean Safe School Initiative

The Caribbean Safe School Initiative


I was in the room watching TV on my phone and then the earthquake came I run underneath the dinner table and wait for the shaking to stop, and then I open the kitchen door and went outside The Caribbean Safe School Initiative (CSSI) launched in
April 2017 is the framework to advance school safety in the Caribbean and it is
the region’s contribution to the Worldwide Initiative on Safe Schools (WISS). The three main pillars of the initiative are: Safe Learning Facilities, School Disaster Management and Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience Education A number of schools in the region have already adopted the CSSI including
schools in Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana and St. Lucia In the Caribbean we have been working specifically with CDEMA and other partners – UNICEF, UNESCO- on having commitments by the highest authority on school safety. So, we
carried out the First Ministerial Forum, here, in Antigua and Barbuda where 12 ministries of education adopted the Antigua and Barbuda Declaration and created the
Caribbean Safe School Initiative which is the framework on how to move forward
on the worldwide initiative specifically to the Caribbean. So what you find happening know that once the school is to be built, one of the first thing that
is done is to look at the location vulnerability and to determine whether
that is adequate or whether things need to be done in order to have that
facility there or whether it needs to be moved At the regional level we are beginning
to include DRR or aspects of DRR in every activity or any strategy that we are seeking to undertake as it is something we have no
control over As you realize the hurricane seasons they were set and
these were the times we look for a trough or a storm or some
adverse event but now with climate change it is a reality that we face all
the time. You know, in schools, some of the plans are very old. they really been kept up to date in some cases and so it’s necessary for all
schools to have drills, to have safety mechanism put in place in case anything
happen. We focus a lot on our kids recently We are also in the earthquake
zone, an earthquake can happen at anytime even at this moment so what we plan to do is to make sure students, teachers, basically staff on school compound and the students
they are sensitized to exactly what to do in case any of these emergencies or disasters
actually happen at the school however we’re hopeful that whatever is done at
the school can be transferred into the home by the students, also to go home and let their parents know. we are working now in the different countries in the Eastern Caribbean to develop the capacity of school principals and teachers to design and implement a contingency plans at school level multi-hazard plans at the school level it means that we work with the teachers, with the principals and then the principals and the teachers work with the school community, the other teachers, and
the children to identify the main hazards around schools and the
weakness points in the schools for example what to do to protect the
pedagogical or the training materials before an storm. For us, it is really
about stimulating change at the national level and in doing so an important part
of the role that we see ourselves playing is with respect to promoting
standards around school safety we have a number of partners who have been working
with us in the region regional and international partners and in July 2018
we established formally a partnership around the whole area of Safe Schools We have seen an increase in awareness, we have seen an increase in terms of parents being concerned, as well as taking ownership of the school safety
program at the schools, they are part of the initiative, the students are also part of
the initiative. We have at many schools where we have started safety committees,
safety clubs ♫ We are the Lorax, we speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues ♫ ♫ We are the Lorax, we speak for the environment ♫ The CSSI is an opportunity and a great contribution from the Caribbean region to the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda including the Sendai
Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

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