By Minerva BC. Newman
Cebu City – The Department of Education (DepEd) in Central Visayas has integrated disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) concepts and activities in the educational curriculum of 10 pilot schools within the DepEd division in Cebu in partnership with SEEDS Asia, a Japan-based organization.
Disaster preparedness, mitigation, management are incorporated in Math, Geometry and other subjects where the students are trained to calculate, think and decide on how to respond to certain calamities and reduce risks of disasters.
DepEd-7 DRRM officer Dr. Theron Abel Aranas told the Manila Bulletin that SEEDS Asia started its commitment in the first quarter of 2014. Integration in schools started in 2015.
SEEDS Asia Philippines representative Yo Kunieda said: “This is our third project in the Philippines but the first for Cebu province. It is a comprehensive management tool for disaster preparations, management and education within public school campuses.”
According to Aranas, DRRM integration is based on specific school competencies in their various subjects. In terms of structural concepts, most DepEd buildings and classrooms are not as resilient as how we want them to be.
“We are trying to balance everything, putting all DRRM concepts in students’ minds. There is a need to change our culture in terms of disaster management. We have a long way to go. We need to instill discipline and improve on the ‘Bayanihan’ system especially in schools,” Aranas said.
SEEDS Asia local projejct manager, Kathleen Almonte, in a Kapihansa PIA forum, recently bared that SEEDS Asia program for the promotion of school disaster risk reduction and management for Cebu province identified 10 pilot schools.
According to Almonte the public schools that have been identified for pioneering across the subject integration for both students and teachers are in the cities of Bogo, Carcar, Cebu; and in Cebu province DaanBantayan district that include the cities of Danao, Lapulapu, Mandaue, Naga, Talisay and Toledo.
The 10 schools have been given the right education tools, teacher/student kits and information, education and communication (IEC) materials to equip teachers and students to respond and enhance awareness on disaster preparedness, response and overall DRR management, Almonte added.
DRRM education training
The scope of the training will include the integration of DRRE into d basic education curriculum from kindergarten to Grade 10, Almonte said.
These include preparedness, mitigation, management, social mobilization of students and the provisions of training and operations manual for all pilot schools.
The various manuals serve as their guide to DRR management that include regular safety manuals for teachers’ training to check and know the structural safety of school buildings; ‘how to respond’ manual that incorporates situational concepts, various disasters scenarios and the like, Almonte added.
The beneficiaries of the training include all DepEd-7 DRRM coordinators, 120 teachers, all students handled by the trained teachers of the 10 pilot schools.
The program is being funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under its technical cooperation for grassroots project in cooperation with DepEd National DRRMS and DepEd-7.