1,000 Viet Nam schools enhance environmental threat responses through ESD

20 September 2016


(© UNESCO Ha Noi Office

Through School Preparedness Plans (SPP) based on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), more than 1,000 schools and local communities across Viet Nam have strengthened awareness, preparedness and resilience to combat environmental threats.

Viet Nam is one of the countries in the world most vulnerable to the impacts of natural disasters and climate change. With over 23 million students and teachers, the Education Sector has a fundamental role in addressing these environmental issues.

The SPPs are developed and implemented by Viet Nam’s Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) jointly with UNESCO to enhance learning towards disaster preparedness, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and biodiversity conservation and restoration for sustainable development.

As a result of the 2014 ESD Initiative in Viet Nam, MOET and UNESCO produced the Assessment and Preparedness Toolkit. It is designed to build the capacities of students, primary school teachers, school principals and administrators with the active participation of parents, community members and local authorities.

In Vietnamese and English, the toolkit comprises: the School Assessment Tool (SAT) for identifying hazards that create an unsustainable or unsafe learning environment; the School Preparedness Plan (SPP) guidelines for developing, through a participatory approach, actions to address risks; guidance on developing effective protocols to reinforce school safety; activities to reinforce relevant messages for students inside and outside the classroom, in the home and within the community.

The Toolkit was distributed to more than 1,000 target schools with a focus on those in vulnerable and disadvantaged areas. A sample of 100 schools submitted their School Preparedness Plans including at least one protocol to MOET and UNESCO, in order to assess lessons learned as well as to develop specific recommendations and steps for further replication. These schools used the Toolkits to develop SPPs proactively with the input of students, teachers, principals and community members, many of whom expressed an increased sense of awareness, confidence and safety.

Considering the success of this project thus far, it represents a significant contribution to Viet Nam’s implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Additionally, the project further integrates climate change measures into national education policy, strategy and planning.

A forthcoming report based on these results will be used to further expand the impact of the Toolkit and to ensure schools are supported with the needed resources and follow-up to continue updating and implementing their SPPs and protocols.

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