School students are most vulnerable during natural disasters. Calamities like earthquakes, fire, floods, etc. make the school nonfunctional, have a long-term psychological impact on students, and affect their future and growth.
In the fire accident of 16th July 2004, ninety-three children were charred to death. Thirty were severely injured when a fire broke out in a private school in Kumbakonam town of Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu. The accident was a kitchen fire due to lack of awareness; the impact was a stampede, shock, suffocation, and injury. During the Kutch Earthquake on 26th January 2001, many school children died. In the recent earthquake in China, many schools collapsed. These are a matter of grave concern involved with the administration of schools. To avoid the recurrence of such accidents and minimize the effect of the disaster, School Management should have a School Disaster Management Plan (SDMP) for their school and its students’ safety.
Strengthening the Schools and creating awareness among students about disaster preparedness, response, and mitigation is a three-generation awareness program. RADHEE Disaster and Education Foundation designed the School Safety Project to build capacity for the Schools, make it self-sustainable, and ensure that they have required measures for emergencies and disaster response.
Schools need a team of Master Trainers qualified in all the concepts of School Safety. They are trained to assess the vulnerabilities and make decisions in the event of a disaster. The school must have a Safety Plan for every type of disaster, and they should take all measures for prevention, preparedness, mitigation, and response.
Every school should have a school safety plan to prevent any untoward incident and reduce the impact of a disaster. They should conduct regular evacuation mock drills and train teachers to do it themselves. Continuous education safety culture and mock drills would reduce the psychological impact on the students during a disaster.
The objective of the Master Trainer program is to make the school self-sustainable and to ensure school safety becomes part of the daily routine. Every program and project of RADHEE has a vision of long-term sustainability applied in the school safety project by developing the Master Trainer’s Program.
Master trainer program includes
- Development of School Safety Plan
- HVRC analysis to take preventive measures against disasters like fire and reduce the impact of any disaster
- Train the teachers, non-teaching staff, and students to ensure that they stay safe during any type and intensity of the disaster
- Groom schools to inculcate safety culture in three generations through students
- Conduct mock drill – evacuation for various disasters as per HVRC
- Design the refreshers program of master trainer
RADHEE collaborates with school management and identifies the teachers to conduct a Master Trainers program. All the participants are comprehensively taught the concepts of School Safety and trained in various aspects of School Safety as per the HVRC analysis.
- In association with Municipal Corporation, the State Education Department and Social Welfare Department conducted the ToT program of teachers for School Safety.
- RADHEE conducted a Master Trainers program for two participants from each school. All the participants were comprehensively taught the concepts of School Safety.
- Completed teachers ToT program in
- 1252 municipal schools
- 52 special schools
- 200 aided and private schools
- Designed refreshers School Safety training program and enrolled the education department for municipal schools to process the policy decision
- Established long-term sustainability of the safety initiatives by developing a culture of school safety as part of daily activity
- Safer school
- Zero man-made disasters
- The better response towards the natural disaster like flood and cyclone
- A regular mock drill has become part of school activity
What You can Do?
- Do a safety assessment of the school premises
- Develop a School Safety Plan
- Conduct regular evacuation mock drill
As a school management team member, ensure your school is safe for children, teachers, staff, and every visitor on the premises. RADHEE could help you develop the School Safety Program as a part of capacity building and develop a safety culture in the school.