Preparing Teachers and Students for Disasters

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Preparing Teachers and Students for Disasters

To improve disaster risk reduction (DRR) awareness of teachers and students in Myanmar, World Vision organised a ‘Training of Trainers' programme on school-based DRR for teachers from 30 schools in Hlegu and Hmawbi. Those who attended were trained on disaster preparedness, as well as awareness on disaster risk reduction and building resilience.

After attending the training, teachers replicated what they had learned during school assembly, empowering their colleagues and students to be well-prepared for all stages of a disaster (before, during and after) thus enabling children to share what they had learnt with family and community members, making change possible.

While developing an evacuation plan, the teachers also involved students by giving them a platform to voice their opinions and discuss the risks, vulnerabilities and capacity. During the discussions, children suggested possible places of safety for evacuation if a disaster struck during school time.

“Before the DRR training, we did not have any in-depth understanding about disasters and what to do when our schools experienced a hazard. We did not have any emergency exits or fire extinguishers on the school premises. In this DRR training, we have learnt the steps we need to follow to reach safety when a disaster strikes. We have also learnt how to use the fire extinguisher correctly,” says U Htein Lin Aung, a primary school teacher from Hlegu, Yangon.

A total of 870 children were given DRR awareness training by their teachers. Schools have conducted drills and distributed materials for students to become familiarised with the safety precautions and self-protection skills required in an emergency. "When a fire breaks out, we must stay calm and as close to one another as possible. We must cover our nose with a wet cloth and run to a place where there is no smoke. If a fire breaks out accidently at the school, we have to use the fire extinguisher to put out the fire and we have to use the emergency exit,” says 12-year-old Pan Nu.

“The children will now go back home and tell their families how to react during a disaster. Awareness will spread among the community, and everybody will be well prepared when an actual disaster strikes,” says U Htein Lin Aung.

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