Annual impact: Students make up one-third of disaster victims

Results of study shared at safety training for schools, madrassas in Kohat

Our Correspondent November 22, 2015

PESHAWAR: Teachers must stay abreast of new methods of ensuring safety at schools in the event of a disaster.

This was said by Tariq Hayat, a social activist, during a disaster risk reduction (DRR) event in Kohat on Sunday.

The initiative was organised by Peace Education and Development (PEAD) Foundation in collaboration with Unicef.

It was aimed at building the capacity of teachers and religious scholars to combat emergency situations at schools and madrassas in Kohat. Separate workshops were held for men and women.

‘Most casualties in natural disasters occur in schools and madrassas,” Hayat told participants. “Safety is essential.”

According to the social activist, teachers must be resilient during an emergency and develop a strong understanding of how to respond to such situations.

“They must present themselves as role models for students,” he said.

Citing a recent study conducted by Red R, a UK-based organisation, he said schoolchildren constitute one-third of disaster victims around the globe every year. He added it was necessary for teachers to play a pivotal role in minimising risks.

Practice makes perfect

During the sessions, videos were shown to participants on the correct use of extinguishers and ropes in case of a fire. A practical demonstration followed.

“Similar training sessions will be held in Swat and Peshawar,” Hayat said.

Speaking on the occasion, PEAD Foundation District Coordinator Ahsan Jehanzeb said, “Teachers are expected to implement safety action plans at their respective institutes with the technical support of field teams,” He added,“All required equipment such as first-aid boxes, fires extinguishers, DRR kits and other materials have provided to the participating institutions.”

Hafiz Muhammad Shoaib, a teacher from a madrassa in Kohat, lauded the initiative. He urged the government to adopt similar techniques to educate teachers on new learning methods and skills.

Parvez Iqbal, a teacher from Government High School-III Kohat, told The Express Tribune, “I was delighted to see representatives from madrassas participating in the event.”

Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd,  2015.


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