Disaster Risk Management in the Educational System

Ministry of Education of Peru and UNESCO Lima organize a specialization course on 'Disaster Risk Management in the Educational System', addressed to teachers of the 26 regions of the country.

Peru is one of the countries with the greatest number and variety of natural hazards in the world and is characterized for recording high levels of vulnerability. The large number of disasters that the country has suffered over the years has contributed to the increase of the poverty levels and to the restrain of its development. In this context, most Peruvian schools do not count on knowledgeable and prepared teachers to reduce risks to which the educational community is exposed, as well as to respond to further possible emergencies or disasters. 

Facing this scenario, UNESCO Lima and the Ministry of Education have organized, promoted and developed the first specialization course on “Disaster Risk Management in the Educational System aimed at practicing teachers”, in the context of the regional project 'Reducing Disaster Risk through Education and Science', funded by the European Commission through its 2013-2014 Action Plan of the Preparation Programme for Disasters.

The course is a blended learning program of 120 hours long, aiming to strengthen the capacity of teachers in exercise on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) through theoretical and practical tools and methodologies that will allow them to analyze the conditions of risk and vulnerability of their Educational Institutions.

The course was designed in an inter-institutional fashion by dint of participatory consultation workshops, in which more than 20 institutions from the State, civil society and the UN System participated. It has the academic support of the Centre for Research and Educational Services (CISE, in Spanish) of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP); and technical advice from the National Center for Estimation, Prevention and Disaster Risk Reduction (CENEPRED) and the National Institute of Civil Defense (INDECI).

The course, which has the academic support of the Centre for Research and Educational Services (CISE) of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP) and technical advice from the National Center for Estimation, Prevention and Disaster Risk Reduction (CENEPRED) and the National Institute of Civil Defense (INDECI), was prepared in a participatory and interinstitutional way through consultational  workshops to more than 20 institutions of the State, the organized civil society and the UN System.

The course’s first edition was successfully carried out from February to June 2014 with the concurrence of 30 teachers from 26 regions of the country. The participants belonged to the winning schools of the 2013 Environmental Achievements national competitions and were granted a scholarship, jointly funded by UNESCO and the Department of Communitarian and Environmental Education of the Ministry of Education.

The participants, who were chosen as representatives of the winning schools in the national competition for Environmental Achievements 2013, agreed to a scholarship cofinanced by UNESCO and by the Department of Community and Environmental Education of the Ministry of Education.

After finishing the presential part of the course, Blanca Arambula Rivera, secondary school teacher in Paita,  a city situated  in  the northwest of Peru, shared her perspectives of the applications she will give from the learned information once she returns to her place of work:

 “On my return, one of the first things I will do is to raise awareness on Disaster Risk Management to all teaching and administrative staff, parents and the entire school community, in an attempt for them to take an active role in the Risk Management Plan. First, I will seek to involve everyone in the design of the plan; second, I will advocate for its institutionalization, because then we, as teachers, will be able to adjust the Plan to our curriculum and to our learning sessions. Furthermore, awareness will be raised in the school community and the community itself.

I will try to find the way for this to be institutionalized, because we, as teachers, are be able to adapt it to our   curriculum   and incorporate this to   our  learning sessions. Also, this will create awareness in the educational community and in the entire community